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The Colonial Printer 

The Colonial Printer 



58 ® ^ 


The Southworth-Anthoensen Press 

Copyright, 1931, by The Grolier Club of the City of New York 

Copyright, 1938, by The Southworth-Anthoensen Press 
Second edition, revised and enlarged 

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Description of Plates ix 

Preface xv 

Preface to the Second Edition xxi 

I. Introduction 3 

II. The First Presses of the Colonies 12 

III. The Colonial Printing House 61 

IV. The Colonial Printing Press 69 

V. Type and Type Founding of the Colonial 

Period 87 

VI. Printing Ink 115 

VII. The Paper of the Colonies 122 

VIII. The Journeymen and Apprentices 154 

IX. General Conditions of the Trade 169 

X. Bookbinding in Colonial America 191 

XI. The Product of the Colonial Press 215 
Part I. The Content 

XII. The Product of the Colonial Press 265 
Part II. External Characteristics 

Appendix to Chapter IV 297 

Notes 299 

A List of Works referred to in the Notes by 

Short Titles 331 

Index 349 

t vii ] 

Description of Plates 




Composing Stick, with device for setting marginal notes con- 
currently with text. Page Galley, with removable slide, or slice, 
bottom. Carriage, Coffin and Plank of the Dutch or Blaeu 
Press, showing at either end the drums, equipped with ratchets, 
upon which the girts or belts of the rounce mechanism were 
wound. Selected from illustrations in Moxon's Mechanick Exer- 


Type Cases, Chase, and Composing Sticks, resting upon a 
frame. Formerly in the shop of Isaiah Thomas, now preserved in 
the American Antiquarian Society. 


Imposing Stone. Formerly in the printing shop of Isaiah 
Thomas, now preserved in the American Antiquarian Society. 


The Dutch or Blaeu Press. From the cut in Johnson's Typo- 
graphia, redrawn for that work from the cut and description in 
Moxon's Mechanick Exercises. For a detailed, modern reconstruc- 
tion of this press and its parts, see our Appendix. 


The Common Press, called also the "Old English" and the 
"Old Fashioned" Press. From the cut in Stower's Printer's 
Grammar. For detailed, modern reconstructions of this press and 
its parts, see our Appendix. 


The Common Press used by Isaiah Thomas. Now preserved in 
the American Antiquarian Society. 


Pressmen at Work. From an engraving in the Encyclopedie 
Methodique, Paris, 1782-1792. 

[ ix ] 

Description of Plates 


A Page from the Bay Psalm Book of Cambridge, 1640, the first 
book printed in what is now the United States. In its composition 
was employed a letter no worse than many which came from the 
seventeenth-century English foundries. Reproduced through the 
courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library. 


A Representation of the Type Foundry of William Caslon. 
On the floor are shown, many times enlarged, the two halves of a 
type mould. From the original engraving in the collection of 
Fred Anthoensen. 


Title-page of the Poetical Address of the President and Fellows 
of Harvard College to George III on his accession in 1760. 


A Handsome Letter in the Caslon Style, open composition, 
and excellent presswork make the Pietas et Gratulatio one of the 
finest American products of the period. Pages 57 and 58 and three 
lines on 68 are in the Greek letter given the College by or through 
Thomas Hollis, the English patron of Harvard. 


Abel Buell's First Type Specimen, May, 1769, printed from 
the first type cut and cast in English America. From the original 
specimen in the Ezra Stiles Papers, Yale University Library. 


Abel Buell's Second Type Specimen, October, 1769. From the 
original specimen in the Connecticut State Archives. 


A Printer's Specimen of Types available in his cases, not a 
type founder's specimen sheet. See pages 102-103. By courtesy 
of the owner, William A. Jeffries, of Boston. 


Extract from The Pennsylvania Mercury of April 7, 1775> in 
which the printers ask indulgence for the "unpolished figure" 

[ x ] 

Description of Plates 

of the first roman letters of native manufacture used in a publi- 
cation in English America. This type was the work of one of the 
Germantown founders, Jacob Bay or Justus Fox. From the orig- 
inal newspaper in the Harvard College Library. 


The Type Credited to John Baine & Co., made in Philadelphia 
about 1789 for Dobson's edition, 1790-1797, of the first Ameri- 
can edition, in eighteen volumes, of the Encyclopedia Britannica. 
See the concluding paragraph of Chapter XII. 


A Portion of the First Copyright Law of New York set in a 
letter cast by Adam Mappa of New York for Thomas Greenleaf 's 
edition of the collected Laws of the State of New York, New York, 


The Type of Binny & Ronaldson shows itself a finished prod- 
uct in their specimen book of 1812, the first to be printed in the 
United States. The English Roman was a modern face partaking 
of the worst features of the period, but the Pica Roman, No. 1, 
showed the maintenance of tradition in a transitional face popu- 
lar today with many printers under the name "Oxford." The 
English Roman is reproduced through the courtesy of the Colum- 
biad Club of New Haven, which published in 1937 a facsimile of 
the specimen book ; the Pica Roman has been set from type for the 
purposes of this illustration. 


A Paper Mill in Operation. From J. J. Lalande, L'Art de faire 
le papier, Paris, 1761. 


A Decorated Binding by John Ratcliff, who worked in Boston 
from 1663 to 1682, the first binder of English America whose 
work has been identified. From a photograph courteously loaned 
for use in the first edition of this book by William Gwinn Mather, 
Esq., upon whose copy of Increase Mather's A Call from Heaven, 
Boston, 1679, this binding is found. 

[ xi ] 

Description of Plates 


A Decorated Binding by William Parks, printer and book- 
binder of Annapolis and Williamsburg. From the John Carter 
Brown Library copy of The Charter of William and Mary Col- 
lege, Williamsburg, 1736. 


A Volume of the Celebrated Aitken Bible of Philadelphia, 
1781-1782, the first English Bible to be printed in America. This 
binding, in full green morocco, is the work of a craftsman of skill 
and taste, who maintained European standards of workmanship. 
It was probably accomplished by Robert Aitken himself, or by his 
daughter Jane, both of them remembered as competent binders. 
From the Susan Inches copy in the John Carter Brown Library. 


A Title-page with Ruled Border from the First Half of 
the Century by William Parks of Annapolis and Williams- 
burg, illustrating the qualities of balance, restraint, and vigor 
found in the best work of the colonial printers. The free, open, 
undecorated title-page of the later century is well illustrated by 
the title-page shown on Plate x. From the copy of the book found 
in the John Carter Brown Library. 

Drawings in the Appendix 

PLATE A 298 

The Press and Its Parts. This is the press called by Moxon the 
"old fashion'd" English press, and by Stower, the "Common 
Press." Comparison with Plate vi shows it to be the sort of press 
employed by Isaiah Thomas. This was doubtless the style of 
press generally used in the colonies. Drawn and names of parts 
applied by Ralph Green. Certain features of the construction, for 
example, the manner in which the forestay supports the carriage, 
appear more clearly in the side elevation shown in Plate C. The 
functions of all these parts are fully defined in Moxon's Me- 
chanic k Exercises, I. 37-74. 

[ xii ] 

Description of Plates 

PLATE B 298 

The Press and Its Parts. A detailed drawing of the principal 
working parts of the Common Press. The nomenclature of the 
press underwent some changes between the seventeenth and nine- 
teenth centuries. Moxon called the plank and coffin, which moved 
to and fro carrying the type form beneath the platen and out 
again for inking and change of paper, the "carriage." Stower de- 
scribes the carriage as the frame holding the longitudinal ribs 
upon which the plank and coffin ride. Drawn by Ralph Green. 

PLATE C 298 

Side elevation of the Common Press. Compare with Plate D, a side 
elevation of the Dutch or Blaeu Press. In the legend of Plate D 
comment is made upon the marks of difference between the two 
presses seen from the side. Drawn by Ralph Green. 

PLATE D 298 

A side elevation of the Dutch or Blaeu Press. From this point of 
view the chief visible difference from the Common Press (Plate 
C) is the possession by the Dutch Press of drums and ratchets at 
either end of the plank for taking up the slack of the girts. In the 
Common Press, see Plate A, the tightened girt was fastened to the 
end of the plank by nails or thumbscrews. Drawn by Ralph 

PLATE E 298 

Here is shown the front elevation of the "old fashion'd" or com- 
mon wooden press. Special attention is directed to the shape of 
the hose (see Plate A), which is the chief feature distinguishing 
it from the so-called Blaeu Press, Plate F. Drawn by Ralph Green. 

PLATE F 298 

This elevation of the so-called Blaeu Press shows very clearly the 
distinctive hose which differentiates the Dutch machine from the 
old-fashioned English press. See Plate A for the names of the 
parts of these presses. Drawn by Ralph Green. 

[ xiii ] 


THE proprietor of the colonial American printing 
house was an English provincial printer who estab- 
lished and conducted his earlier presses at a time 
when the practice of typography everywhere was at its lowest 
point as regards aesthetic accomplishment. Toward the end 
of his period, in the mid-eighteenth century, he saw the print- 
ing craft undergo a sound but briefly maintained revival in 
taste and in mechanical practice. He was fortunate in know- 
ing only the beginning of that easy descent into the Sheol of 
early nineteenth-century typography that followed this pe- 
riod of superior craftsmanship, but even so he lived long 
enough to have part in the general falling away from virtue, 
and to see his work affected by the insipidity of this period of 
decadence. If these generalizations concerning the character- 
istic features of his time be allowed, they place the colonial 
printer in a class from which we should expect little that is 
pleasing in typographical form. Too often, it must be said, our 
lack of high expectation in this particular is realized by his ac- 
tual performance, but when we recall that the matter which 
came from his press embodied the social, religious, and politi- 
cal thought of our country in the years of gestation, we are will- 
ing to tolerate its lack of distinction in typographic quality. 

It is not always necessary, however, to exercise the easy 
forgiveness suggested by the considerations just set down, for 
in the work of an occasional master craftsman— let us think, 
when we say this, of Franklin, William Goddard, Lewis 

[ xv ] 


Timothy, James Parker, William Parks, or Jonas Green — 
we find now and then a display of taste and of thoughtful- 
ness in design as well as of skill in execution that compel 
from us delighted encomium. To these qualities must be add- 
ed, as evidenced by several of the folio collections of provin- 
cial statutes, the ability to conceive nobly and to execute with 
skill the printing of extensive and important books. Admira- 
tion for another characteristic possesses us at the sight of such 
monumental, though homely, productions of the press, as the 
Eliot Indian Bible and the Ephrata Martyr Book, so that not 
seldom, with the style of one group and the size of the other 
in mind, we find ourselves astonished at the work the colonial 
printer was capable of accomplishing. Born of our concern 
with the matter of his product and of our occasional delight 
in its form, comes finally an abiding interest in this geograph- 
ically isolated printer and in the problems of his craft in the 
pioneer communities where he labored. 

It is proposed to bring together in the following pages a 
number of facts relating to this printer's activities, and by 
the correlation of these to attempt a reconstruction of the 
physical aspect of his establishment as well as to affirm the 
general conditions under which it functioned. In the sections 
that follow, therefore, we shall deal with the tools and ma- 
terials of the colonial printer's trade ; that is, with his press, 
his type, his ink, and his paper, and when these have been 
examined, we shall go on to discuss his shop procedure, the 
labor conditions that confronted him, the nature of his prod- 
uct, and the remuneration he received for his efforts. 

[ xvi ] 


The English bibliographer and historian of letters, prop- 
erly enough, has been so taken up with problems of distinc- 
tively literary importance and with high matters in general 
that the provincial press of Great Britain has not been ex- 
amined from the point of view that has engaged my interest 
in this study. It may be, however, that in this presentation of 
a picture of the colonial American establishment, the charac- 
teristic features of the English provincial office have been 
shown by reflection. The obvious differences need not be 

This investigation of the colonial American printing trade 
is not to become an essay in bibliophilism, but it is difficult 
now and then in writing on the subject to repress the feeling 
of superiority that the lover of books must experience when 
he thinks of the mere reader of books, the heedless and com- 
placent lover of literature. To love the contents of a book 
and to know and care nothing about the volume itself, to love 
the treasure and to be unmindful of the earthen vessel that 
loyally holds and preserves it, is to be only half a lover, deaf 
to a whole series of notes in the gamut of emotion. The book- 
lover, more richly endowed, broods over the hand that fash- 
ioned the volume he reads, and, like the Tramp Royal, he 
goes on till he dies observing "the different ways that differ- 
ent things are done," the materials, the processes, the how 
and what and why of the ancient mysteries of printing, paper 
making, type founding, ink making, press building, and bind- 
ing. Because of this quality of sympathy there comes to him 
a greater abundance of enjoyment, and he is able to smile 



when the half-lover says harsh things about his doddering in- 
terest in the outsides of books, and attributes to him igno- 
rance of their matter. God save us from the hearty, windy 
fellows who say, "I had just as lief read an author in a poor 
edition as a good one." One is ashamed for such as these, for 
the incompleteness of their spiritual perceptions, for their 
imperfect realization of the humanity that breathes from 
type and paper and binding, for their blindness to the process 
of artistic selection and rejection that underlies the making 
of a book. 

The study here presented formed originally a short chap- 
ter that considerations of economy compelled the publishers 
to omit from my History of Printing in Colonial Maryland. 
It was expanded somewhat and read at the winter meeting 
of the Bibliographical Society of America at New Haven on 
December 29, 1922. Later, on the invitation of the Grolier 
Club, its scope was very much enlarged, the whole subject 
was reexamined, and several aspects of the craft previously 
neglected were brought into the discussion. In the interven- 
ing years I have been in consultation with everyone from 
whom I could hope to obtain information on the matters dis- 
cussed. In this assiduous mendicancy, I have received ma- 
terial comfort from Wilberforce Eames, Henry L. Bullen, 
George S. Godard, Miss Margaret Bingham Stillwell, Charles 
L. Nichols, Clarence S. Brigham, Alexander J. Wall, Thomas 
J. Holmes, Leonard L. Mackall, Andrew Keogh, A. S.W. 
Rosenbach, Miss Ruth S. Granniss, and George Simpson 
Eddy. Information and assistance have been received from 



the Library of Congress, the Henry E. Huntington Library, 
the John Carter Brown Library, the Grolier Club Library of 
New York City, the New York Public Library, the Histori- 
cal Society of Pennsylvania, the American Antiquarian So- 
ciety, and the Maryland Historical Society, as well as from 
other persons and institutions specifically mentioned in the 
text and in the notes. Portions of the chapter on "The First 
Presses" appeared in their present form in Printing, A Short 
History of the Art, edited by R. A. Peddie, published in 
London in 1927 by Grafton & Co., to whom I express thanks 
for the courtesy which permits their use in this book. In 
bringing the work to an end, I am pleasantly aware of 
the debt I owe my assistants, past and present, in the John 
Carter Brown Library, to Mrs. Raymond Newton Watts, 
Miss Gertrude L. Annan, Miss Catherine C. Quinn, and Miss 
Marion W. Adams, who have given me generous help and 
encouragement in the task in more ways than it is possible to 
specify. I am grateful also to George Wyllys Benedict, of 
Brown University, who led me into still waters at a stormy 
season in the book's progress, and to R. L. Rusk, of Columbia 
University, who gave me important practical suggestions in 
the matter of exposition. It would not be fair to make George 
Parker Winship in any measure responsible for the study, but 
the opportunity to read it at New Haven in its earlier form 
and the suggestion that it be elaborated came from him, and 
this evidence of interest in the project has been followed con- 
sistently by advice and assistance in particular instances. Ac- 
cordingly such readers as find pleasure in the book that has 

[ xix ] 


thus come into being will join the author in thanking Mr. 
Winship for his encouragement of the undertaking. 

Lawrence C. Wroth. 

The John Carter Brown Library, 
l October, 1930. 

[ xx ] 

Preface to the Second Edition 

THE revision of this book for its second edition has 
enabled me to enlarge several of its sections as well 
as to correct or modify certain specific statements or 
conclusions with which, upon a critical reading after seven 
years, I found myself dissatisfied. Happily for my peace 
of mind there were few downright errors recognized in the 
course of this reading, so that my task has been mainly the 
pleasant one of recording newly acquired information or of 
expanding topics which seemed somewhat too summarily 
treated in the earlier text. New facts have been embodied 
which change the position of Maryland in the chronology of 
the presses, and the important additions to our knowledge of 
the typographical history of South Carolina made in 1933 
by Douglas C. McMurtrie have been incorporated in the nar- 
rative. A considerable further enlargement has been made of 
the chapter on "The First Presses" by extending the period 
of its inclusiveness to the year 1800. I was led to that course 
by the realization that so far as the printing craft is con- 
cerned the last two decades of the century are much more 
closely related to the colonial period of the nation than to 
the industrial era just then about to open. By carrying the 
story into the decades following the Revolution I have been 
enabled to include statements concerning the origins of the 
press in Florida, Maine, Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky, 
Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi, marking the advance of 
printing to the extreme southern, northern, and western 

[ xxi ] 


boundaries of the territory then forming the United States 
or soon to come within its domain. 

One may not write of the press in the post-Revolutionary 
period of the eighteenth century without feeling immense 
obligation to certain earlier writers on the subject, to Reuben 
Gold Thwaites, for example, whose Ohio Valley Press led 
the way into unexplored country ; to William Nelson, whose 
Notes toward a History of the American Newspaper is a 
rich store of obscure facts left uncompleted at the death of 
its author but published (Volume I) in 1918 through the en- 
thusiasm for American typographical history of Charles F. 
Heartman; to Clarence Saunders Brigham, whose Bibliog- 
raphy of American Newspapers is so broadly conceived in 
plan, so finely detailed in execution that any present-day in- 
vestigation in American literary history must inevitably use 
it as a point of departure ; to Douglas C. McMurtrie, whose 
studies of American printing origins form a contribution to 
typographical history as important as they are numerous. Nor 
should one forget in this connection the helpfulness of the 
great general American Bibliography of Charles Evans, and 
of Sabin's Dictionary of American Books, now happily con- 
cluded after long years of labor by its editors — Joseph Sabin, 
Wilberforce Eames, and R. W. G. Vail. I should like also to 
acknowledge especially the kindness of Clarence Saunders 
Brigham, who has made specific contributions from his own 
unpublished notes on American newspapers and has searched 
for me with gratifying results certain rare newspaper files in 
the American Antiquarian Society. I am indebted also to 



Rutherfoord Goodwin, of Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., who 
has given me permission to quote from an unpublished study 
on the paper mill of William Parks. The Connecticut State 
Library has continued the same effective service I learned to 
depend upon when the late, and very greatly lamented, 
George S. Godard was its distinguished head. Miss Margaret 
Bingham Stillwell has passed on to me information acquired 
through her wide foreign correspondence. The interest in the 
subject of Robert W. G. Vail has made it inevitable that I 
should appeal to him frequently in the course of my writing. 
The specific and important contribution made by Ralph Green 
to the chapter on the Printing Press is acknowledged more 
fully in another place. I owe thanks also for many sugges- 
tions to Lathrop C. Harper, whose years of absorption in 
Americana have made him a storehouse of knowledge on that 
and related subjects. I have reserved until last the expression 
of my gratitude to Dr. J. Hall Pleasants, of Baltimore, and 
Arthur Trader, of Annapolis, who turned over to me the dis- 
coveries they made in the Maryland Land Office which have 
enabled me, here and elsewhere, to make an important correc- 
tion in the date of the first printing in Maryland. 

Despite the gratification I experience in seeing this book 
brought out in a trade edition, there is a natural regret on my 
part at the severance of its fortunes from the control of the 
Grolier Club. No greater satisfaction can come to a bookman 
in this country than the publication of his work by that as- 
sociation of scholars and collectors. My own relationship 
with it through this book has been such as to give me the 



pleasantest memories. I wish, finally, to thank the present 
publishers for their belief, expressed significantly by the book 
now before the reader, that this study deserves a wider circula- 
tion than it could attain as the publication of a private club. 

Lawrence C. Wroth. 

The John Carter Brown Library, 
9 July, 1937. 


The Colonial Printer 




IT hardly need be said that the learned and painstaking 
works on the history of printing composed in the past 
three centuries have been engaged in by their authors as 
studies in the culture of a place or period rather than as ex- 
ercises in pure antiquarianism. There is no greater degree of 
interest inherent in an old printing press than in a spinning 
wheel of the same period ; it is the difference in the spiritual 
implications of the two machines which keeps the one alive 
in men's minds while the other stands cold and stark in the 
museum or gathers dust in the attic. It is the position of the 
printing craft as a spiritual force which continues to lead men 
to compile its lore, to write the lives of its exemplars, to trace 
the spread of its practice from town to town, from country to 
country, and from continent to continent, and even, as in the 
present work, to study the very tools and materials with 
which its service to civilization has been accomplished. A 
study of this last sort, indeed, ought to contribute no little 
to an understanding of the larger significance of the craft 
in its relation to the life of a given place and period. It con- 
cerns itself with things rather than with ideas, but while 
examining outward and visible signs, one sometimes attains 
a clear vision of inner meanings, achieves a fine comprehen- 
sion of the power and influence of things, of people, and 
of institutions. If the present book, with this truth in mind, 
be regarded as a discussion of certain fundamental aspects 
of cultural history (and so it has been conceived by its au- 
thor), it is important at its beginning to bring back to mem- 

[ 3 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ory the intellectual aspects of the colonial period in English 

That part of the North American continent which lies be- 
tween Mexico and the St. Lawrence was settled by men of 
a race that had for its rich inheritance Shakespeare, Plato, 
Moses and the Gospels, but the laws that inevitably set back 
the cultural development of a colonized people so operated 
in the new land that while the English parent stock was pro- 
ducing Milton and Dryden, Fuller, John Locke, the Caro- 
linian divines, the eighteenth-century essayists and poets, the 
American adventurers were breeding pioneers and a race of 
prophets of only local distinction. The reason is too obvious 
for remark ; whatever comment is made should be in the way 
of tribute to the virility of man's spiritual and intellectual 
instinct. Thrown into conflict with rude natural forces, fight- 
ing, ploughing, hewing wood and drawing water, the colonial 
American yet retained the desire and found the means to build 
churches and schools, to learn history and the law, and to be- 
come an adept in political theory and practice. Though there 
were few flowers upon the intellectual tree of the colonies yet 
were the roots continuously mulched and the hardy trunk 
kept trimmed and straight by the hand that remembered its 

The boundaries of the cultural groups of the colonies fol- 
lowed in the main the natural geographical divisions of the 
country; that is, of New England, the Middle Colonies, and 
the Southern Colonies, each with a constantly shifting fron- 
tier reaching back and touching the older settlements with 
something that kept the intellectual mass in a state of fluid- 
ity, inhibiting in it fixation of motive and expression when- 
ever this seemed likely to come into being. Of the stable 
groups, the centers of influence were respectively Massachu- 

[ 4 ] 


setts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Homogeneous racially, the 
New England people possessed a common religious heritage 
in the Old Testament ideals of Puritanism, while the difficult 
soil of the country caused the people to turn generally to the 
sea as the natural path to prosperity. In the middle colonies 
was early formed a people whose religious characteristics 
were as varied as the racial stocks that composed it— the 
English, the Dutch, the Catholic Irish, the Scotch-Irish, and 
the German. In this section, the common economic interests 
of the group were found in the tillage of rich fields of grain 
and in the development of industries. In the southern colo- 
nies, where the effort to sustain life required less vigorous ex- 
ertion than elsewhere in the country, lived a people hardly 
less mixed in racial strains, though of different constituents, 
professing adherence to the Church of England, the Roman 
Catholic Church, and various separatist bodies growing out 
of the Reformation in Western Europe. Here, too, were agri- 
culturists, but in this case devoted to the production of rice, 
tobacco, and cotton, and here was to be found a social divi- 
sion between a poor yeomanry and a slave-holding aristoc- 
racy. Out of the conditions imposed by heredity and circum- 
stances, there came into being in this section a people lacking 
the gravity of the New Englander and the solid thrif tiness of 
the Pennsylvanian, but possessing a light sanity and a grace 
of living peculiarly its own. 

These in a broad sense are the features of the picture. It is 
too much our custom to attribute differences in type to simple 
and obvious causes — the character of the New Englander, 
for example, to his Puritanism, of the Southerner, to his mild- 
er creed. Nothing is so simple as this in a world where climate 
and soil and the conditions of sustaining life interplay with 
spiritual forces and racial heredity to mould the character- 

[ 5 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

istics of groups of men. Reflection leads one to stand silent 
before this mystery of the ethnic process, to accept, in this 
instance of it, the fact of differences without attempting 
glibly to weigh and evaluate causes. 

In any study of the American scene, political, literary, or 
social, it is important to remember concerning the New Eng- 
land people that the necessity of defense against the Indian 
and the activities by means of which they gained their living, 
grouped them in towns to a much greater degree than was the 
case with the inhabitants of the middle and southern colonies, 
where the farm and the plantation early became the economic 
unit, and the county, rather than the town, the focus of po- 
litical organization. In both sections the necessity that faced 
the inhabitants for many weary years was to secure food, 
clothing, and shelter by means of continuous physical exer- 
tion. The early New Englanders, though, came hither pro- 
vided with an intellectual interest in the related problems of 
the soul's salvation and the desirability of moulding a com- 
monwealth of true believers alone. The necessity of wrestling 
continually with the practical aspects of these questions in- 
evitably nurtured the desire for learning, and just as the de- 
velopment of the spirit and form of scientific inquiry was 
handed on to the modern world by those mediaeval school- 
men who disputed the "eternal generation of the Son of God," 
so the light of intellectual inquiry was kept burning in the 
American settlements by sectarians, in New England and 
elsewhere to a lesser degree, who were always seeking and 
proclaiming their own interpretations of the will and the 
way of God with men. 

The intellectual process of the New Englander was kept 
tempered, though its edge was frequently dulled, by the ac- 
tivity of his spiritual obsession. The habit of town life, the 

[ 6 ] 


town meeting, the congregational meeting, encouraged the 
transmission of ideas from man to man and from father to 
son. The literary results of this intellectual ferment are most 
maligned by those who know them least. The theological 
treatises, the sermons, the controversial matter generally, not 
to mention certain other remarkable productions, have a pro- 
founder significance in our cultural and political history than 
they are usually credited with. Parrington writes vigorously 
on this point in these sentences from The Colonial Mind: 
"That our colonial literature seems to many readers meager 
and uninteresting, that it is commonly squeezed into the 
skimpiest of chapters in our handbooks of American litera- 
ture, is due, I think, to an exaggerated regard for esthetic 
values. Our literary historians have labored under too heavy 
a handicap of the genteel tradition — to borrow Professor 
Santayana's happy phrase — to enter sympathetically into a 
world of masculine intellects and material struggles. They 
have sought daintier fare than polemics and in consequence 
mediocre verse has obscured political speculation, and poet- 
asters have shouldered aside vigorous creative thinkers. The 
colonial period is meager and lean only to those whose 'dis- 
edged appetites' find no savor in old-fashioned beef and pud- 
dings." One need not settle down to a course of reading along 
the line suggested by these words to be willing to believe 
them true. 

The glorious thing about the spiritual life of New Eng- 
land was that it had its heretics. If the Puritan spirit spoke 
through John Cotton, it was replied to, as the horn soars 
above the drum, by Roger Williams, whose Bloudy Tenent 
of Persecution sounded, for the first time in America, an en- 
largement of man's spiritual horizons through the doctrine 
of liberty of conscience as a natural right of man. Though 

[ 7 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the witchcraft persecution had its learned and godly cham- 
pions, it was one of these, Increase Mather, whose bold re- 
cantation brought that madness to an end. One is revolted 
sometimes by the repetition of the familiar charges against 
the intellectual and spiritual life of New England. While 
bigotry, intolerance, and spiritual complacency unquestion- 
ably existed among its people, there was never a time in the 
history of that section when men of sturdy independence were 
lacking to oppose by word and virile pen the expositors of the 
ancient stupidities. No more can be said of any age of any 
people. Some witty person has said that "the Middle Ages 
were not quite so Doresque as they were painted" ; in New 
England, too, despite thunderings from pulpit and bench, the 
sun still rose and set in splendor, the Spring came like a ten- 
der girl, and children played in dooryards gay with flowers. 
These elements, religion, town life, and the commercial 
pursuits inherent in group existence, produced a higher in- 
tellectual level in New England than elsewhere in the col- 
onies. Even so, there was to be found in the southern and 
middle colonies a superior economic and social class in which 
education was achieved as a matter of course. The Maryland 
and Virginia gentleman or merchant could write his name 
and read his book with as much readiness as the New Eng- 
lander. Somewhere in his house he had a shelf or two or a 
whole case of books in which the predominant tone was less 
religious, perhaps, than political or literary. Though his com- 
munity lacked a well-developed educational system, he suc- 
ceeded in giving his sons a decent amount of learning, and 
when he could afford the cost, he sent them abroad for a year 
or more of study. Maryland and South Carolina, despite 
small populations, had each during the eighteenth century 
more young men entered at the Inns of Court than the whole 

[ 8 ] 


of New England for the same period. Sons of Catholic fami- 
lies went occasionally from Maryland to the college of the 
English Jesuits at St. Omer in Flanders. Virginia had its 
college at Williamsburg. Both colonies sent young men to 
Edinburgh for their medicine and to the English universities 
for their divinity. The result of this pilgrimage to the sources 
of learning on the part of a privileged few was the creation of 
an outstanding small group of lawyers, doctors, and church- 
men allied with a moderately well-educated class of great 
and small gentry, though the people as a whole were less 
interested in education, and had fewer opportunities to be- 
come familiar with its advantages, than the people of New 
England. And this instructed upper class of the southern 
colonies wore its education with a difference. To the New 
Englander, learning was a duty and a privilege ; to the Vir- 
ginian, it was an ornament, a source of pleasure with a utili- 
tarian aspect that enabled him to exchange ideas with distant 
neighbors at court house or church, at race track or tavern, 
and rendered him eligible for service in the Assembly, or on 
the quorum and the vestry. 

Special investigations in the past few years have worked 
a change in opinion as to the general cultural state of the 
country against which, as a background, the activity of the 
press must be seen if the study of it is to be regarded as 
anything more than an aspect of antiquarian interest. It has 
always been known to careful students that the colonists 
possessed books in fair numbers even before the general 
establishment of the American press, and that facilities for 
adding to them through importation were provided early and 
maintained effectively throughout the period. These features 
of colonial life have attained wider understanding, as far as 
New England is concerned, by the publication of such works 

[ 9 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

as George E. Littlefield's Early Boston Booksellers, Worth- 
ington C. Ford's The Boston Book Market, Thomas Goddard 
Wright's Literary Culture in Early New England, and Ver- 
non L. Parrington's The Colonial Mind. Certain portions of 
Philip Alexander Bruce's Institutional History of Virginia 
point to conditions existing in the Old Dominion hardly dif- 
ferent in kind from those that prevailed in New England, 
though, for reasons already spoken of, inevitably different in 
degree. In his Provincial Society, James Truslow Adams has 
so interpreted the social history of the entire colonial group 
as to show that a moderate degree of literary culture was 
widespread throughout the country, even though its spirit 
could not be thought of as having penetrated deeply the 
ranks of the people. The bookseller as a tradesman distinct 
from the printer came upon the scene in the person of Heze- 
kiah Usher, of Boston, about the year 1647, and the importa- 
tion thereafter of books from England as a regular feature of 
commerce was hardly affected by the output of the American 
press until late in the eighteenth century. The colonial gen- 
tleman's library was very weak in the possession of American 
printed books, so weak, indeed, that one must wonder whether 
the product of the local presses was not regarded in the light 
of homespun. Certainly the pride of possession was in the im- 
ported book. The issues of the printing houses of the provin- 
cial capitals, eagerly sought today by scholar and collector, 
were too often crowded from the shelves by those stately calf- 
bound volumes, and sets of volumes, from the London sta- 
tioner that now form the familiar lumber of the country 
house library. 

But whatever the components of these collections may 
have been, their possession was not confined to the individ- 
uals of any one section of the country. No one whose way 

[ 10 ] 


has led him to the examination of wills and inventories in 
various colonies has failed to be impressed by the presence 
in them of collections of books, itemized or otherwise, stand- 
ing up bravely in the lists of more material possessions. Be- 
tween Cotton Mather with 3000 volumes in 1728 in Mas- 
sachusetts, and William Byrd with 3500 a decade or so later 
in Virginia, there were innumerable individuals in the sev- 
eral colonies with their "twenty bokes," clad in dull sheep or 
polished calf, whose literary interests lent urbanity to their 
communities. The specimens of prose and verse found in the 
Virginia Gazette and in the Maryland Gazette indicate a 
close reading of the British and classical writers by the gen- 
tlemen who composed them, and testify, furthermore, to the 
possession of a cultural equipment that enabled these con- 
tributors, in imitating and adapting, to infuse their writings 
with the feeling of the original sources of their inspiration. 
These essayists and poets of the Chesapeake Tidewater, 
though they spoke it softly, spoke the same language that 
Addison and Pope employed with clear and sure enunciation. 
It was in these communities, sometimes rude, nearly al- 
ways poor, busy about material things, but intellectually 
alert, that there came into being a life so sharp in its con- 
trasts, so replete with the elements of conflict, and so full of 
color and rude pageantry as to provide for us, its inheritors, 
a study of endless fascination. It is as a factor in this vivid 
and eager life, coeval with its beginnings, that the press en- 
gages our interest in the ensuing pages. 

1 1 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

IT is doubtful whether the seventeenth-century American 
felt strongly the need of his community for a printing 
press. The government, it is true, had employment for 
the press in the promulgation of laws and proceedings, the 
clergy had need of it in the spreading abroad of their several 
interpretations of the gospel, and all men could have used it 
in the printing of business forms, newspapers, and advertise- 
ments. But there was a race of scribes in the land that took 
care, in a measure, of the government and of the men of 
business, and the clergy could call upon their co-religionists 
or upon their literary agents in London for the publication 
of sermons and controversial tracts. Proclamation by word 
of mouth was not yet outmoded as a method of publishing 
laws, news, and advertisements, and in cases of special im- 
portance where time was not a feature, the London printing 
houses could be called upon by government and people for 
the necessary services. Whether he was born to the country 
or newly come out from England, the tradition of the co- 
lonial American was English, and at this period the press 
had not become an essential factor in the life of the normal 
English community. It should be emphasized here that the 
spread of typography in America was coeval with the diffu- 
sion of the art which took place in England after the removal 
of the restrictions upon printing in the last decade of the sev- 
enteenth century. Since the year 1586 the hand of author- 
ity by several enactments had confined printing to London, 
York, and the Universities, and in the century that followed 
the first inhibitory acts, the dwellers in English provincial 
cities had known the press only as an outside agency. In 

[ 12 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

1693, tne terms °f the last press restriction act became final- 
ly inoperative, and in the following generation printing 
began to be practised as a matter of course in the provincial 
cities of England. At the time of the expiration of the restric- 
tion act, however, presses were already in operation in four 
American towns. Cambridge, Boston, St. Mary's City in 
Maryland, and Philadelphia had presses at work for vary- 
ing terms of years before that condition could be found in 
Liverpool, Birmingham, and Leeds. The first New York press 
was established in the very year that the inhibitory act dis- 
appeared from the English statute book. The spread of the 
art to other American towns occurred in the same generation 
that saw it penetrate the life of the English provinces. Be- 
cause of these circumstances one can easily realize that the 
demand for the press in seventeenth-century America did not 
arise from a sense of deprivation on the part of the people. 
They had, indeed, to learn its full uses even after its estab- 
lishment, but the fact that five towns possessed presses at the 
time and under the conditions just spoken of shows that they 
were aware of its potentialities and anxious to make use of 
its obvious convenience in the life of the community. 

It was essential to the well-being of the printers who first 
took up their occupation in the several colonies that they 
be government men, or at the least, men not inimical to the 
government. They might count upon a certain amount of 
profit from job work, newspapers, sermons, and occasional 
literary pieces of a more ambitious character, but the con- 
tract to print the assembly business with its definite task and 
definite remuneration provided a certainty of maintenance 
that they recognized as the essential element in their success. 
This was the work that brought printers to towns where pub- 
lication of the other sort in profitable quantity was hardly to 

[ 13 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

be counted on, and it was the need for this service by the 
government that more than anything else fostered the growth 
of printing in English America. 

The first press to begin operation in English America was 
set up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the year 1639. The 
last press to be established in one of the thirteen original col- 
onies was that which James Johnston brought from Great 
Britain to Savannah in the year 1762 for the service of the 
colony of Georgia. In the intervening century and a quarter 
more than one hundred master printers had been at work in 
twenty-five towns, and in the year that Johnston set up his 
printing house in the thirteenth colony about forty presses 
were in active operation throughout the country. The press 
had become in this epoch the rival of the pulpit as a vehicle 
of ideas, and the story of its beginnings in the American com- 
munities has interest of peculiar quality for those who love 
to keep in memory the spiritual struggle of that pioneer peo- 
ple, ever employed, though without conscious purpose, in the 
prolonged creation of a national culture. 

It is because the formation of this American culture has 
been carried on independently in distinct, geographically de- 
fined groups that, in the outline of printing beginnings now 
to be presented, sectional relationships have been emphasized 
rather than the chronological order of the first establishments 
in the several colonies. In its place at the end of this chapter 
will be found a chronological table to satisfy the natural de- 
sire of man to know the order of events, but in the table that 
immediately follows, chronology has given place to lines of 
influence, genealogically presented, and cold priority has 
yielded to spiritual affinity. 

[ h ] 

„ <u 



§ s 

.*» Si 

si ^ 


** '* W 

£ 2 a 

*-. «-» £ 

Si -jS 

Q si 

* -S 

a 2 -1 

E S 

ft H 

c3 ^O 














oT 2 
.J5 -R 

o ^ 


« s 




OR g ^ - 

& 1 H a g" 
£ a o S« 

t>o a 



.2 H 
a £ " ._- § 
•5§^ .9^ 

3-5 1 .si 


o S 










o „ 

> S 


^ 5 



> ^ 

id c 


- fe « 


0) -a. M 

a c r 
° E* vi 

"•2 S 

U R 


The Colonial Printer 

The New England Presses 

It is probable that the earthly and utilitarian incentives 
commonly found underlying the origins of the press in the sev- 
eral colonies were not entirely absent from the motives that in- 
duced the Reverend Jose Glover to procure a press and letters 
in England and to embark this precious freight upon the 
John, of London, when he set out with his family for Massa- 
chusetts in the month of July, 1638. Though the benefit of 
the College and the propagation of the Faith were unques- 
tionably important considerations in the dissenting minister's 
mind when he determined to set up a printing press in Cam- 
bridge, 1 the project seems nevertheless to have been in the 
nature of a private venture not entirely dissociated from the 
idea of gain, whether in money or in esteem. The equipment 
belonged to Mr. Glover, and, as one of the consequences of 
his death on the voyage hither, the first printing press of Eng- 
lish America came to Massachusetts as part of his personal 
estate, in the possession of his widow. With the Glover house- 
hold on board the ship John was Stephen Daye, a locksmith, 
with whom Mr. Glover had contracted for the operation of 
the press, and the autumn of 1638 saw the little printing 
house set up and ready for service in a dwelling in Cambridge 
secured for the printer and his family by the new owner of 
the equipment. It was probably late in 1638 or early in 1639 
that "The Freeman's Oath," the first issue of the press in 
English America, was printed for the greater ease of the 
Massachusetts officials. No copies are known to exist of this 
piece, or of the supposed second issue of this famous press, 
William Peirce's Almanack for the Year 1639. 

[ 16 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

In the ensuing years the Corporation for Propagating 
the Gospel in New England, generally referred to as "The 
New England Company," undertook an extensive mission- 
ary propaganda by means of the printed word. London was 
the natural center of its publishing operations, but the de- 
sire to print the Bible in the Indian tongue at the place where, 
from the translator's standpoint, that object could be most 
fittingly accomplished, led in the year 1659 to the sending 
of additional typographical equipment to Cambridge in the 
form of a second press and other fonts of letters. The Whole 
Booke of Psalmes, the first book printed in the English colo- 
nies of which a copy is known to exist, had been published in 
1640; various catechisms, secular laws, college publications, 
almanacs, sermons, and controversial tracts had been coming 
year by year from the press. Now, in 1660, after twenty years 
of activity, the printing of the Bible, translated into the In- 
dian tongue by John Eliot, was begun by Samuel Green and 
carried to completion by him and Marmaduke Johnson. The 
New Testament appeared first in an edition estimated at 
1500 copies; in 1663, two years later, 1000 copies of the 
work known familiarly as the "Eliot Indian Bible" came from 
this small, and, according to modern notions, inadequately 
equipped establishment, the culmination of a courageous ef- 
fort on the part of the translator and the printers. 

We shall find the name of the second Cambridge printer in 
the imprints of many American books of the ensuing two cen- 
turies. The descendants of Samuel Green took to printing as 
their family craft, and their establishments in Massachusetts, 
Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia stood for the best in 
the typographical ideals of their respective periods until the 
death of Jonas Green the second, fifth in descent from Samuel, 
occurred in Annapolis in 1845. A generation before the line 

[ 17 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

of printers of this family became extinct, its importance in 
the cultural life of the nation had been recognized by a dis- 
criminating New England writer. "The typographers of 
America," said this anonymous proto-historian of American 
printing, "and all who respect how much indebted we are to 
the printing press for the diffusion of knowledge, will ever 
respect the name of Green. For mine own part, I experience 
a sensation similar to what I feel when I read the history of 
the family of the Medici — parva componere magnis." : 

The secular intrusion into the business' of the press in 
America began with the setting up of an independent estab- 
lishment in Cambridge by Marmaduke Johnson in 1665. 
After more than one effort, Johnson, in 1674, secured grudg- 
ing permission from the General Court to remove his press 
to Boston. This act accomplished, the printer died and gave 
opportunity to John Foster, the purchaser of his equipment, 
to establish in that city, in 1675, the third American press. 
The unwillingness of the General Court to permit Johnson's 
removal to Boston had arisen from distrust of that printer's 
character and from the prevailing fear of the general diffu- 
sion of printing, hitherto in Massachusetts kept well within 
the bounds of ecclesiastical authority. One can hardly credit 
this body with a foreknowledge of what shortly occurred; 
that is, the practical extinction of the press in Cambridge 
through this establishment of a rival printing house in the 
busy, commercial town on the other side of the Charles River. 
A native-born American and a graduate of the College, 
Foster was also a printer of versatile accomplishment, who 
illustrated more than one of his publications with cuts of 
his own making that must always have interest among Amer- 
ican primitives. Notable among these were the map of New 
England that appeared in Hubbard's Narrative of the Trou- 

[ 18 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

bles with the Indians in New-England, Boston, 1677. One 
feels a certain satisfaction that a native school of book illus- 
tration arose at this early period in the American printing 
industry, but the satisfaction is somewhat tempered in in- 
tensity by the reflection that printed books had been nobly 
illustrated in Mexico more than a century before English 
America saw the first of Foster's praiseworthy but crude 

The American press had been in operation half a century 
before a genuine periodical journal, as we understand the 
term today, issued from any of the shops. On September 25, 
1690, appeared Publick Occurrences both Forreign and Do- 
mestick, a small folio of two leaves with a colophon on page 
three, reading: "Boston, Printed by R. Pierce, for Benjamin 
Harris, at the London-Coffee-House. 1690." This sheet was 
headed "Numb. I.," and was announced for monthly publi- 
cation, but it was issued without license and met with imme- 
diate suppression by Governor and Council. Nevertheless, its 
publication must be regarded as marking the commencement 
of American journalism. Fifteen years after this inauspicious 
beginning, The Boston News-Letter, April 24, 1704, pub- 
lished by authority and "Printed by B. Green," came from 
the press under the management of John Campbell, the local 
postmaster. With varying fortunes and changes of name this 
journal continued publication until the year 1776, "the first 
newspaper," Mr. Evans says, "continuously published in 
what is now the United States of America." 

The fact that so much of the writing of early New Eng- 
land worthies was intended primarily to influence English 
opinion made it expedient that the works of many of them 
should be sent to England for publication. Most of the Eliot 
Indian tracts, the two series of King Philip's War narratives, 

[ 19 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the controversial writings of John Cotton, the Magnalia of 
Cotton Mather are some of the important and picturesque 
writings that saw the light in England instead of in the land 
of their origin. And though there were circumstances that ren- 
dered unlikely the publication in Cambridge of the chief 
writings of Roger Williams, one cannot help wishing that 
the lofty contribution to liberal thought he made in his 
Bloudy Tcnent of 1644 had been an issue of the most not- 
able colonial American press. His George Fox Digg'd out of 
his Burrowes, the least amiable of his writings, alone of his 
large output found publication in America, issuing from the 
press of Boston in 1676. A notable exception to the custom 
of sending important political documents to England for 
publication is found in the Declaration of former Passages 
. . . betwixt the English and the Narrowgansets. This pamph- 
let, of Cambridge, 1645, commonly called "The Narragan- 
sett Declaration" was not only an important political docu- 
ment in the eyes of contemporaries, but it continues to hold 
interest today as the first historical publication of the Amer- 
ican press. 


For many years after the beginning of printing in Cam- 
bridge, the Massachusetts press continued to take care of 
such printing of other New England colonies as was not sent 
to the London shops. The official printing of the colony of 
Connecticut 3 was for a long period put into the hands of 
Samuel Green in Cambridge, and later confided to Samuel 
and Bartholomew Green, his sons, of Boston. This associa- 
tion led the Governor and Council to turn to the Green fam- 
ily when, in 1708, it was determined, on Governor Sal ton- 
stall's motion, to seek a resident printer for Connecticut. The 

[ 20 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

first offer of the post was made to Timothy Green, of Boston, 
the grandson of Samuel, of Cambridge, but not wishing to 
give up, as he expressed it without very much originality, "a 
certainty for an uncertainty," this printer declined to remove 
himself to the neighboring colony. The offer was accepted, 
however, by Thomas Short, of Boston, who was engaged at 
a salary of fifty pounds a year to print the current Connecti- 
cut Assembly business. Short moved to New London in the 
spring of 1709, where sometime in the month of June he 
issued two pieces that contend for the distinction of priority 
as the earliest Connecticut imprints. These were : a broadside 
entitled A Proclamation for a Fast, ordered on June 1 5, 1 709, 
and probably printed immediately afterwards; and, An Act 
[for Making and Emitting Bills of Publick Credit], passed 
on the eighth of June of that year. The evidence seems to 
point to the money act as the first of these in order of publica- 
tion. The most notable imprint that resulted from Short's 
three years of service in Connecticut was A Confession of 
Faith, known popularly as the "Saybrook Platform," New 
London, 1710, a work of such extraordinary local interest as 
to call for an edition of 2000 copies. Thomas Short died in 
1712, and was succeeded in office by the Timothy Green 
whose fears four years earlier had not permitted him to un- 
dertake a post of uncertain stability. For more than a century 
the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons of this craftsman 
continued to print at New London, New Haven, Hartford, 
and other Connecticut towns. There was no newspaper estab- 
lished in Connecticut until James Parker, on April 12, 1755, 
began in New Haven the publication of The Connecticut 

\ 21 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
Rhode Island 

The first printer of Rhode Island 4 was James Franklin, 
who as master and relative appears in a distinctly unamiable 
light in the Autobiography of his brother Benjamin. In the 
year 1722, James Franklin had got into trouble with the Bos- 
ton authorities for matter of an alleged seditious character 
published in the New England Courant. It is probable that 
never after his term of imprisonment and conflict did he feel 
at ease in the town of his birth, and when his brother John, a 
tallow chandler of Newport, urged his removal to that city 
and backed up the invitation with encouragement from sev- 
eral prominent citizens of the place, he determined to take 
his press thither and begin anew. The first known imprints 
from a Rhode Island press were two pieces he issued at New- 
port in the year 1727; namely, John Hammett 's Vindication 
and Relation: Giving an Account, of his separating from 
the Baptists, and joining the Quakers, and Poor Robin's 
Rh'ode-Island Almanack, for the Year 1728. He continued 
his activities until his death eight years later, when Ann 
Franklin, his widow, assumed charge of the business and, 
except for the help of her son, James Franklin, Jr., from 
1748 until his early decease in 1762, carried it on alone until 
her death in 1763. During the latter half of this year she took 
as partner Samuel Hall, who succeeded her in the business. 
The elder James Franklin established, in 1732, The Rhode- 
Island Gazette, but this first newspaper of the colony had 
only a short life. It was reserved for Ann Franklin and 
her son, in 1758, to begin the publication of The Newport 
Mercury, a newspaper that continues to appear today after 
172 consecutive years of publication. In 1762 William God- 
dard, in partnership with Sarah, his mother, began his no- 

[ 22 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

table career by setting up as printer in Providence. His suc- 
cess was not what he thought it should be, but after his re- 
moval to New York, in 1765, Sarah Goddard continued the 
business successfully until its sale to her associate, John Car- 
ter, in the year 1768. In later years her daughter, Mary Kath- 
erine Goddard, made a notable success of the newspaper 
and the printing house which, as her brother's partner— and 
scapegoat, it sometimes seems— she conducted in Baltimore 
throughout the trying days of the Revolutionary War. Sarah 
and Mary Goddard and Ann Franklin provide excellent ex- 
amples of that all but forgotten type, the colonial business 
woman who, as a matter of course, assumed charge of the 
affairs laid down because of death or other reasons by a hus- 
band or a son. 

New Hampshire 

New Hampshire 5 was indebted for its first press to Daniel 
Fowle's resentment against the punishment meted him by the 
Massachusetts Assembly in 1754. In that year, while the 
House was deliberating the passage of an excise act, a pam- 
phlet entitled The Monster of Monsters, by Thomas Thumb, 
Esq., was hawked through the streets of Boston, and when its 
contents were found to reflect upon the conduct of the As- 
sembly, its supposed printer, Daniel Fowle, was brought to 
the bar of the House for examination. As the result of this 
trial, conducted somewhat irregularly, the pamphlet was 
burned by the hangman, and Fowle was reprimanded, jailed, 
and ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings. The account 
of the incident is found in Fowle's own pamphlets, entitled A 
Total Eclipse of Liberty, printed by him in 1755, and An Ap- 
pendix to the Late Total Eclipse of Liberty, printed as his 

[ 23 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

farewell to Boston in 1756. He had been urged in the inter- 
vening months to settle in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and 
thither he removed in July or August of that year. 

New Hampshire printing annals are unusual in that the 
first printer of that province has left a record of his begin- 
nings. In the unique Library of Congress copy of the second 
issue of Ames's Almanack for the Year 1757, printed by 
Fowle in Portsmouth, the printer has set out in type the fol- 
lowing statement: "The first Printing Press set up in Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire, was on August 1756; the Gazette 
publish'd the 7th of October; and this Almanack November 
following." It does not appear that Fowle intended this state- 
ment as a complete record of the early weeks of his Ports- 
mouth venture. It is known, for example, that "proposals" 
for the publication of the Gazette were printed, and so, in the 
present state of our knowledge, we must think of that pros- 
pectus as the first New Hampshire imprint. The New Hamp- 
shire Gazette of October 7 was the second of which a record 
exists, and if the printer had been a bit more definite, we 
could with certainty name the Almanack as the third. As a 
matter of fact, he brought with him from Boston to Ports- 
mouth a partly finished job in the form of Jonathan Parsons's 
collection of seven sermons, entitled Good Nezus from a Far 
Country. On November 4, 1756, he announced in his journal 
that he was waiting for paper from London to complete the 
printing of the last two sermons. The book appeared with a 
Portsmouth, 1756, imprint, and there is to be considered the 
probability that it may have been completed early in Novem- 
ber, sometime before the Almanack was published. The care- 
ful examination of this probability by Charles L. Nichols, 
however, leaves in little doubt the priority in publication of 
the almanac. 

[ M ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

Save for an interval of ten years in which Fowle was as- 
sisted by his nephew, Robert Fowle, he continued his press 
alone until his death in 1787. His newspaper, The New 
Hampshire Gazette, appeared first on October 7, 1756, and 
continues publication to the present day, the oldest news- 
paper in the United States. 


When Alden Spooner went from New London to Dresden, 
now Hanover, New Hampshire, in the fall of 1778, that 
town, geographically a part of New Hampshire, situated in 
a strip of debatable land between the contiguous states, had 
recently become part of the political district known as Ver- 
mont. 6 On this account Spooner is claimed often as Vermont's 
first printer. One of the reasons that influenced Congress in 
its refusal to admit Vermont into the confederation of states 
was its assertion of sovereignty over the strip of territory east 
of the Connecticut River, and a year after Spooner's coming 
to Dresden, that town found itself relinquished by Vermont 
to become finally a part of the State of New Hampshire. Thus 
Spooner may be claimed, and justly, as a New Hampshire 
printer. One may resolve the question by saying that the geo- 
graphical area known as Vermont has no claim on Spooner as 
its first printer, but that Vermont, the body politic, may 
rightly call him her proto-typographer. There exists his bill 
for services to the State from October 15, 1778, to June 1, 
1779, and during the greater part of this time the town of 
Dresden had been considered a part of the political entity 
known as Vermont. On October 15, he entered in his account 
a charge for printing 250 blank commissions for the State of 
Vermont, and on October 27, he charged the State for 100 

[ 25 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

proclamations and 300 election sermons. The Thanksgiving 
Proclamation, dated October 18, 1778, and entered on Spoon- 
er's account under date of October 27, may have been the first 
issue of the Dresden press to follow the blank form that has 
been mentioned. A single known copy of this piece is found 
in the library of Dartmouth College. The probable second 
issue seems to have been the election sermon preached by 
Eden Burroughs, entitled A sincere Regard to Righteousness 
and Piety, the sole Measure of a true Principle of Honor and 
Patriotism. The bill to the State for the sermon was dated 
October 27, 1778, but its printing was arranged for by the 
Assembly on October 9, nine days earlier than the day on 
which the Thanksgiving Proclamation was drawn up in the 
Council. It is possible that its publication may have been ear- 
lier than that of the Thanksgiving Proclamation. The news- 
paper that Spooner began in Dresden early in May, 1779, 
came into being three months after that town had become 
once more a part of New Hampshire. 

It did not always happen in our colonial scene that a 
newly-established press found itself so promptly called upon 
to serve the political aspirations of its community as was the 
case of the Vermont press of Dresden. At the time of its 
establishment, the so-called "New Hampshire Grants Con- 
troversy" was at its height. The sovereignty of the territory of 
Vermont had been long in dispute between New York and 
New Hampshire. In 1777, the people of Vermont, crying "a 
plague on both your houses," set up their own government, 
and in the brief year of its existence the little press at Dres- 
den issued five, and possibly more, pamphlets or broadsides 
designed to fortify the claim of the new Republic of Vermont 
to a separate corporate existence. 

I have spoken heretofore of the Spooner press as if its sole 

[ 26 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

representative were Alden Spooner, whereas the firm that 
controlled it was composed of the brothers Judah Padock 
and Alden Spooner. Some of the imprints carry both names, 
others only that of Alden. There is, in truth, reason to doubt 
that Judah Padock Spooner was engaged in the Dresden busi- 
ness in person, but at any rate, when the Dresden press closed 
late in 1779 and the Vermont authorities sent again to New 
London for a printer, it was Judah Padock Spooner and Tim- 
othy Green who received the appointment. There is found a 
charge, dated November 1, 1780, against the State by this 
firm, located in Westminster, Vermont, for eighty Thanks- 
giving Proclamations, and there seems to exist good reason 
for believing that the first Vermont newspaper, The Vermont 
Gazette, issued from this office on December 14 of the same 
year. At any rate we must think of Westminster as the place 
of origin of the press in what is now the State of Vermont. 


When Benjamin Titcomb and Thomas B. Wait began 
printing in Falmouth, now Portland, Maine, 7 in 1785, that 
territory, known as the District of Maine, was still a part of 
Massachusetts. It is said that their newspaper, the Falmouth 
Gazette (afterwards, when the name of Falmouth became 
Portland, called the Cumberland Gazette} was instituted to 
advocate the separation of the District from the parent state 
to which it had too long served as a frontier colony. This at 
least is the motive that used to be ascribed to the project, but 
recent writers on Maine bibliography have nothing to say 
as to the influence of the paper upon the negotiations which 
led to the act of separation in 1820. An examination of the 
product of the early Portland press, however, convinces one 

[ 27 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

that it served consistently the Maine community in further- 
ing its ambition for separate statehood. 

It seems clear enough that the earliest issue of the press of 
Titcomb & Wait was the newspaper, the Falmouth Gazette 
and Weekly Advertiser, which began publication on the first 
day of January, 1785. The order of the separate publications 
of the Portland press is somewhat uncertain, but of the three 
imprints recorded for the year 1785 one assumes that the ear- 
liest was a broadside, headed Falmouth February 2, 1/85, 
which gave notice of a local meeting. The other two pieces, 
equally ephemeral in character, were dated October 5 of the 
same year. It has been stated more than once, on the author- 
ity of a note in Williamson's comprehensive Bibliography 
of Maine, that "probably the earliest pamphlet printed in 
Maine" was William Hazlitt's Discourse on the Apostle 
Paul's Mystery of Godliness . . . By Bereanus Theosebes, 
printed in 1786. But it is certain from the plain statement of 
advertisements that the earliest book or pamphlet to come 
from the Maine press was Daniel Fenning's Universal Spell- 
ing-Book. This work of social utility was announced as "now 
in press" in the Falmouth Gazette of March 2, 1786, and on 
June 22 of that year it was advertised in the same paper, by 
that time called the Cumberland Gazette, as "Now ready for 
Sale at this Office." The contender for the title of first Maine 
book, the Hazlitt Discourse, missed that distinction by about 
two weeks. The book was advertised, in the issue for June 29, 
1786, as "Now in the Press, and next Monday will be pub- 
lished." Weatherwise's Almanack for iy8y was advertised 
as about to be published some months later, specifically, in 
the Cumberland Gazette of December l, 1786. 

A more important establishment than the Portland office 
of Titcomb & Wait was that which Peter Edes set up at Au- 

[ 28 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

gusta in 1795. Edes had previously intended going into busi- 
ness with Wait when he began printing in Portland in 1785, 
but an opportunity offering to set up in Boston at that time, 
he gave up the plan. When he returned to the idea of an 
establishment in Maine ten years later, he had acquired a 
degree of reputation and of skill in his craft which gave im- 
portance to his Augusta press. 

The Press in the Middle Colonies 

It was with something of a flourish that the first press of 
the middle colonies announced itself to its clientage. A young 
English printer named William Bradford, a journeyman and 
son-in-law of the Quaker printer, Andrew Sowle, of Lon- 
don, came into touch with persons who directed his thoughts 
toward the establishment of a press in Philadelphia, 8 the 
center of the recently founded Friends' colony. In the year 
1685, the Kalendarium Pennsilvaniense bore an announce- 
ment in which William Bradford, its printer, asserted that 
"after great charge and trouble, I have brought that great 
Art and Mystery of Printing into this part of America." Thus 
was begun the typographical art in a community where, dur- 
ing the eighteenth century, the press was to attain an unusual 
significance, steadily overtaking in interest and in bulk of 
production the publishing activities of Massachusetts, and 
surpassing in these particulars the output of any other col- 
ony. Here, in the Quaker colony, was the crucible of colonial 
America, here the conflict of races and creeds and of political 
difference was at its sharpest, here were wealth, education, 
and an enlightened people. Here, too, were the political 

[ 29 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

leadership of New Jersey and Delaware and an economic 
connection so close as to make the three at times take on the 
semblance of a single colony. The Bradfords, Franklin, Bell, 
the Sowers, the German Baptists at Ephrata, the Dunlaps, 
Goddard, the Halls, and other printers in and near Phila- 
delphia expressed in type the active intelligence of the com- 
munity. Through the enterprise of William Bradford and 
William Rittenhouse, a paper-making business was begun in 
Pennsylvania in 1690 that early gave this colony preeminence 
in the manufacture of a commodity essential to the printing 
trade, and in Philadelphia, in the last quarter of the eight- 
eenth century, type founding assumed the proportions of a 
national industry. These industrial activities and the later 
importance of Philadelphia as the seat of the Continental 
Congress and the Constitutional Convention were not with- 
out influence in determining that city as the focal point of 
American typographical interest in the second half of the 
eighteenth century. 

William Bradford gave offence to the Quaker council of 
Pennsylvania by permitting Samuel Atkins, the editor of his 
first publication, the Kalendarium of 1685, to refer to Wil- 
liam Penn as "the Lord Penn." The Quaker rulers, including 
Penn himself, looked uneasily at the existence of a press in 
the colony, and Bradford, for his part, disdained to walk 
delicately in the presence of God's regents. Until he removed 
perforce to New York in 1693, he suffered frequent inter- 
ference from the hierarchy. It is probable that his successor 
in Philadelphia, the Dutch printer Reinier Jansen, came 
there in 1699 simply as the agent of Bradford. The son of 
Reinier Jansen, known as Joseph Reyners carried on the 
business for a year in succession to his father. In 1712, 
the name of Andrew Bradford, son of William, began to 

[ 3° ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

appear upon the issues of the Philadelphia press. The father 
never returned to Philadelphia as a place of residence, but 
for many years Andrew Bradford remained its chief printer. 
He was displaced from this eminence only by the superior 
skill, knowledge, and shrewdness of Benjamin Franklin, who 
brought to the exercise of his trade the qualities of mind and 
spirit that afterwards carried him to congresses and courts. 
On December 22, 1719, Andrew Bradford began, with that 
day's issue of The American Weekly Mercury, the first news- 
paper to be published south of Boston. The Mercury was is- 
sued continuously by Bradford until his death in 1742, and 
after that event his widow, Cornelia Bradford, carried on the 
journal for four years. 

New York 

In the closing decade of the seventeenth century George 
Keith, always in the opposition, succeeded in creating a 
schism among the Friends of Philadelphia, where, at that 
time, he was acting as superintendent of schools. Among his 
sturdiest partisans was William Bradford the printer, from 
whose press came, in 1692, Keith's broadside entitled, An Ap- 
peal from the twenty-eight Judges to the Spirit of Truth. 
Bradford was imprisoned straightway on the charge of print- 
ing seditious matter and, under the old Parliamentary press 
restriction act of 1662, of publishing a pamphlet to which he 
had failed to affix his name as printer. The high gods must 
have laughed when the Quakers brought this charge, for in 
England they of all men had excelled in evading this pro- 
vision of the act. In defending Bradford, Keith drove the 
dagger of this inconsistency straight at their breasts, but the 
armor of self-righteousness prevailed even against ridicule. 

[ 31 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

The magistrates were not to be turned aside from their deter- 
mination to break up the Keith-Bradford alliance, and when 
Bradford succeeded in gaining his freedom, he accepted the 
inevitable, and betook himself to New York in May or June 
of the year 1693, having previously been appointed, on April 
10, public printer of that colony, hitherto without a press. In 
New-England's Spirit of Persecution transtnitted to Pennsil- 
vania, printed by Bradford in 1693, 1S found the story, from 
the standpoint of the malcontents, of the trial of Keith and 
his contumacious associates. 

One determines only with difficulty and with ultimate un- 
certainty the order of Bradford's imprints in 1693, the inau- 
gural year of printing in New York City. 9 In a concise presen- 
tation of the facts of Bradford's removal to New York, 
followed by a list of the imprints of his first year in that city, 
Wilberforce Eames has left the order undetermined, though 
he has suggested a probable arrangement with which, in the 
face of the existing uncertainty, there can be no quarrel. 
There seems absolutely no possibility of determining the 
place of publication, whether in Philadelphia or in New 
York, the city of refuge, of New-England's Spirit of Persecu- 
tion transmitted to Pennsylvania, or of A Paraphrastical Ex- 
position on a Letter from a Gentleman in Philadelphia to his 
Friend in Boston. Mr. Eames places these in his list in the 
order named as Numbers l and 2, and after them, three sepa- 
rately printed acts of the New York Assembly of the autumn 
of i692. 9a These five titles are without imprint, and immedi- 
ately following them, as Number 6, is an act of the tenth of 
April, 1693, with the year incorrectly printed in its heading 
as "1694." It Dea rs the imprint "Printed and Sold by Wil- 
liam Bradford, Printer to King William and Queen Mary, at 
the City of New- York, 1693." It begins with a sheet marked 

[ 32 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

"B," so that in all probability it followed in order of printing 
Number 5, which bears the signature "A." This act of April 
10, 1693, seems to be the first piece printed in New York 
bearing the name of printer and the place and date of pub- 

It seemed for some time that one of the principal uses of 
Bradford's new stand was to be a vantage ground from which 
he and George Keith might sling printed invective at the 
Pennsylvania authorities, but as soon as the spleen was out 
of his system, Bradford applied himself industriously to the 
building up in New York of a successful and important print- 
ing business. From this shop came the first printed series of 
assembly proceedings to be published in any of the colonies, 
and in succession, many significant governmental and literary 
productions. He began on November 8, 1725, the first New 
York newspaper, The New York Gazette, and continued its 
publication until 1744. Bradford was the initiator of print- 
ing in two of the greatest of the American colonies, the vir- 
tual founder of paper making in America, and the progenitor 
of a family of printers who continued the practice of the 
craft for a century and a half after his first establishment of 
the Pennsylvania press in 1685. 

Bradford's rescue from the Pennsylvania authorities had 
been effected by the appearance in Philadelphia of Benjamin 
Fletcher, bearing a royal commission as governor of the 
Quaker colony as well as of New York, where he had already 
been actively engaged in administrative affairs. In February, 
1693, he had conducted a successful punitive expedition 
against a force of French and Indians threatening the fron- 
tier. Whether, as has been said, Governor Fletcher's tender- 
ness for the harassed Philadelphia printer arose from his 
desire to have the proceedings of that expedition recorded in 

[ 33 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

print is a matter of opinion, but at any rate one of the pub- 
lications of Bradford's New York press of 1693 was the story 
of that effective campaign told in Nicholas Bayard's Narra- 
tive of an attempt made by the French of Canada upon the 
Mohaques Country. If the vanity of a royal governor was 
the cause of the establishment of the New York press, the 
outcome seems for once to have justified the existence of 
that vice. 

New Jersey 

Before 1754 the governmental and other printing work of 
New Jersey 10 was executed by William Bradford, of Phila- 
delphia and New York, or by Andrew Bradford, of Philadel- 
phia, always with one or the other of these cities named in 
the imprint as place of publication. A permanent New Jersey 
press was established about the year 1754, when James 
Parker, a printer of New York, and later of New Haven, set 
up in his native town of Woodbridge the first independent 
printing office of the colony. The earliest Woodbridge im- 
print of which a record remains seems to be The Votes and 
Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Province of New 
Jersey . . . April 17, 1754 . . . June 21, 1754, printed by James 
Parker in 1754. It was not until 1758 that Parker was ap- 
pointed government printer, and in the meantime the greater 
part of the New Jersey official work had continued to be sent 
to Philadelphia for execution by the younger William Brad- 
ford. The first permanent New Jersey newspaper was The 
New Jersey Gazette, begun at Burlington by Isaac Collins 
on December 5, 1777, and removed by its publisher a few 
months later to Trenton, where it continued to be issued with 
poor success until 1786. 

The story of New Jersey printing origins, however, does 

[ 34 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

not rest upon these well-understood incidents in the life of 
James Parker. There exist, to puzzle bookmen doubtless, two 
sets of session laws of the Assembly, with dates many years 
earlier than 1754, bearing respectively the names of Perth 
Amboy and of Burlington, the New Jersey capitals, in their 
imprints. The acts of 1723 claim on their title-page to have 
been "Printed by William Bradford in the City of Perth 
Amboy, 1723." The acts of 1727—28 bear an imprint which 
reads, "Burlington: Printed and Sold by Samuel Keimer, 
Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, for the Prov- 
ince of New Jersey, MDCCXXVIII." It is known that Frank- 
lin and Samuel Keimer spent about three months in Burling- 
ton in 1727, or early in 1728, for the purpose of printing an 
issue of paper money provided for in an act of Assembly of 
December, 1727, and furthermore, that they took with them 
a copperplate press "contrived" by Franklin for the job. Kei- 
mer was well paid for the contract, and it may be assumed 
that he found it worth while to move his letterpress printing 
press to Burlington for the purpose of printing the laws of 
the session in that town. Until this time, the New Jersey laws 
with the one exception mentioned, had been issued with the 
imprint of New York or of Philadelphia, and it seems rea- 
sonable to believe that this set too would have borne a Phil- 
adelphia imprint if Keimer had not actually had a press at 
hand in Burlington. This assumption is strengthened by re- 
minding ourselves that in the year 1723 a Perth Amboy im- 
print had appeared with the name of William Bradford as 
printer. Various explanations, some of them fantastic, have 
been urged to account for the temporary removal of Brad- 
ford's press to Perth Amboy, but it has been generally over- 
looked that in 1723, as well as in 1728, the Province of New 
Jersey put out an issue of paper money. The conclusion that 

[ 35 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

follows upon mention of this fact is that, as William Brad- 
ford was doing the official printing of New Jersey at this 
time, he was probably given also the contract for making the 
notes in question. To prevent fraud on the part of the printer 
in the handling of these bills, or loss by robbery, certain cau- 
tionary provisions of the act of 1723 would have made it al- 
most imperative that he work, as Keimer found it expedient 
to do later, under the observation of commissioners appointed 
to represent the government. As a paper money job was one of 
unusual profit for the printer, it is not difficult to think of 
Bradford moving a press and appurtenances from New York 
to Perth Amboy to meet the requirements of the commission- 
ers, and, after the money had been finished, of printing there 
an edition of the recent Assembly statutes. At any rate, we 
have the coincidence that in these two years, 1723 and 1728, 
when paper money was printed for New Jersey by outside 
printers, volumes of newly-made statutes appeared bearing in 
their imprints the names of New Jersey towns. There is little 
doubt that the statutes of 1728 were actually, as their im- 
print said, printed in Burlington by Samuel Keimer, and if 
we assume for the sake of argument that Bradford was the 
printer of the paper money of 1723, the analogy between the 
two cases leads us to the conclusion that the statutes of 1723 
were in truth printed, as their title-page declares, in Perth 
Amboy by William Bradford. This line of reasoning, though 
not irrefragable, is strong enough to lead one to fix the year 
1723 as marking the first operation of the printing press on 
New Jersey soil. 

[ 36 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

The three counties of Delaware 11 looked upon Philadel- 
phia as their metropolis, and until 1761, the printing of the 
colony was performed by various establishments in that city. 
In that year an English-born printer, James Adams, went 
out from the shop of Franklin & Hall and opened a print- 
ing house in Wilmington, the chief town of Delaware. Here, 
Isaiah Thomas says, he established a newspaper called The 
Wilmington Courant, but later investigators have been un- 
able to find traces of the existence of that journal. The first 
separate imprint to issue from his press is sometimes said to 
have been T he Child' s N ew Spelling-Bo ok, Wilmington, 1761, 
but there seems no reason save the arbitrary one of alphabeti- 
cal order to give that title priority over Evan Ellis's Ad- 
vice of Evan Ellis to his Daughter when at Sea, or The Mer- 
chant's and Trader s Security, both of which are also adver- 
tised by Adams in the Pennsylvania Gazette for November 
5, 1761. The Child's New Spelling-Bo ok, however, seems cer- 
tainly to have preceded Thomas Fox's Wilmington Almanack 
for 1762, for it is advertised for sale in that publication. Three 
copies of the Almanack and a single copy, acquired by the 
John Carter Brown Library in 1932, of what is conceded to 
be the Evan Ellis broadside already mentioned are now 
known to exist. With the information at present available it 
is not easy to say which of these was the earlier, but at any 
rate there remain in actual copies these two titles from the 
first year of Delaware printing. The truth is that the differ- 
ence in time of issue between the four Wilmington titles of 
1761 would at best have been extremely slight. Adams did 
not announce his move to Wilmington until September 4, 
1761. Two months later, on November 5, he advertised as 

[ 37 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ready for sale the four titles of which we have spoken. It is 
to be observed that he does not say in his advertisement that 
either the Child's New Spelling-Book or the Merchant' s Se- 
curity were of his printing, but simply that they had lately 
been published and were for sale by him. If it is not abso- 
lutely certain, in the absence of copies, that he was the printer 
of those two, we must fall back upon the Almanack and the 
moralized Advice of Evan Ellis as representing our knowl- 
edge of the first year of Delaware printing. 

The first Delaware newspaper to attain permanency was 
The Delaware Gazette, established in June, 1785, and pub- 
lished at the Wilmington office of Jacob A. Killen. 

The Southern Group 
Virginia— The First Attempt 

Before the establishment of the Bradford press in Phila- 
delphia in the closing days of the year 1685, an attempt had 
been made to introduce the art of printing into Virginia. 12 
In 1682, John Buckner, a merchant and landowner, had 
brought to Jamestown a printer named William Nuthead. 
The press was set up and the printer began immediately to 
compose the acts of an Assembly not long adjourned. In the 
meantime he printed "several other papers," of which the 
nature is not known, and pulled proofs of two sheets of the 
acts. At this stage a flurry of alarm seems to have seized the 
Governor and Council. The printer and his patron were 
abruptly called before the Council and bound over to let 
nothing pass the press "until the signification of his Majesties 
pleasure shall be known therein." Several months later a 
new governor came out to Virginia bearing the royal order 

[ 38 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

that "no person be permitted to use any press for printing 
upon any occasion whatsoever"— a complete and unqualified 
prohibition of printing in the colony. The mandate was ef- 
fective : it was nearly fifty years later, in 1730, that William 
Parks began the operation in Williamsburg of the first perm- 
anent Virginia printing press. 


It was early in the year 1684 ^ a t Lord Howard of Effing- 
ham reached Virginia with the order prohibiting printing in 
his government. It is not certainly known what was the next 
move of the harassed printer who was thus forbidden the 
practice of his craft, but something more than a year later we 
encounter him comfortably settled in a neighboring colony. 
In November, 1685, as shown upon a manuscript statement 
of account made out to a government official, payment was 
recorded of "Win Nuttheads bill" for 1650 pounds of to- 
bacco. In October, 1686, we find these words in an act of 
the Maryland Assembly for paying the public charge of the 
province: "To Wm. Nutthead Printer five Thousand five 
Hundred and fifty pounds of Tobaccoe." If these payments 
were rewards for past services, as seems probable, it would 
mean that the Nuthead press had been established in St. 
Mary's City, the Maryland capital, sometime before Novem- 
ber, 1685. 13 

The position of St. Mary's City as the third town and 
Maryland as the second colony in which a permanent press 
was established rests upon the cash entry of November, 1685, 
just referred to, and upon the existence of a blank form, This 
Bill bindeth me [blank spaces for names] County in the 
Province of Maryland, filled in with the name of a citizen of 

[ 39 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

St. Mary's County and the date August 31, 1685. The dis- 
covery in 1934 of this form and the cash account entry neces- 
sitated a restatement of the previously accepted chronology 
in which the press of William Bradford of Philadelphia had 
been given position immediately after those of Cambridge 
and Boston. For as Bradford was still in London in August, 
1685, and as he published his first work, the Kalendarium 
Pennsylvaniense, sometime between December 28, 1685 an< ^ 
January 9, 1686, it seems clear enough that William Nut- 
head's press is entitled to the place in the list formerly held 
without challenge by the Philadelphia printer. 

In addition to this blank form and a group of similar forms 
of varying dates there remains only a single imprint from 
the Maryland press of William Nuthead, though evidences 
of his residence in St. Mary's City and of his occupation there 
as a printer from 1685 unt il his death in 1695 are very clearly 
written in the provincial records. During the Protestant Rev- 
olution of 1689, tne successful anti-Catholic and anti-Pro- 
prietary party issued two printed documents : The Declara- 
tion of the Reasons and Motives for the Present Appearing 
in Arms of their Majesties Protestant Subjects in the Prov- 
ince of Maryland, and The Address of the Representatives of 
their Ma jest yes Protestant Subjects in the Provinnce of 
Mary-hand. No copy has been found of the Maryland edi- 
tion of the Declaration, but a London reprint of it, a folio in 
four leaves, "Licens'd, November 28th, 1689," bears the fol- 
lowing colophon: "Maryland, Printed by William Nuthead 
at the City of St. Maries, Re-printed in London, and Sold by 
Randal Taylor near Stationers Hall, 1689." Of tne broad- 
side Address, on the other hand, there remains in London, in 
the Public Record Office, a copy with an imprint that de- 
clares its origin in the words, "Maryland printed by order of 

[ 4° ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

the Assembly at the Citty of St. Maryes August : 26th. 1 689." 
William Nuthead was succeeded by his widow Dinah, who, 
with her family and her press, followed the government in 
its removal from St. Mary's City to Annapolis, the new capi- 
tal on the Severn. Here Dinah Nuthead gave bond for good 
behavior and received in return the Governor's license to 
print. Though she seems to have produced nothing important 
in content or size, there remain five blank forms which are 
attributed to her Annapolis press. Dinah Nuthead, unless we 
include Mrs. Glover, the owner of the equipment of the first 
Cambridge press, was the first of a long line of women dis- 
tinguished in American typographical annals. Of the work 
of her successor, Thomas Reading, there remain several ex- 
amples, including two editions in folio of the collected laws 
of the province. John Peter Zenger began his career as master 
printer in Maryland in 1720, some seven years after the death 
of Reading. After another period in which no printer had resi- 
dence in Lord Baltimore's province on the Chesapeake, Wil- 
liam Parks came to Annapolis in 1726 and, encouraged by 
statute, reestablished the printing business of the colony on 
a firm and enduring basis. His genuine enthusiasm for news- 
paper publication resulted in his beginning, in 1727, The 
Maryland Gazette, the first newspaper to be published south 
of Pennsylvania. The first printing house to be set up in 
Baltimore was brought to that city from Philadelphia in 
1765 by Nicholas Hasselbach, a former journeyman in the 
shop of Christopher Sower, the Elder. His earliest imprint 
was a book of forty-seven pages by one John Redick, of Penn- 
sylvania, entitled A Detection of the Conduct and Proceed- 
ings of Messrs. Annan and Henderson at Oxford Meeting- 
House, April 18, 1764. The title-page of the single known 
copy of this first Baltimore book is without date, but it is be- 

[ 41 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

lieved the book was printed soon after the date of its preface, 
February 12, 1765. Other printers came to Baltimore in the 
ensuing years, but it was only with the coming of William 
Goddard and the beginning of his Maryland Journal, on 
August 20, 1773, that the press is found firmly established in 
a city then becoming one of the most important commercial 
centers of the country. 

Virginia— The Permanent Establishment 

It has already been told that the first effort at the estab- 
lishment of a press in Virginia 14 in 1682 was frustrated by 
governmental interference, and the printer Nuthead com- 
pelled to remove to the neighboring province of Maryland. 
Nearly fifty years later Maryland repaid her debt for the 
services of Nuthead when William Parks, her public printer, 
opened in Williamsburg in 1730 a branch house that soon be- 
came the more important of his offices. In 1732, Parks was 
appointed public printer of Virginia, the first person to hold 
that office. This eminent individual had conducted printing 
shops and newspapers in Ludlow, Hereford, and Reading, in 
England, and at Annapolis, in Maryland. He was a man of 
excellent public spirit, who possessed as well a pretty taste in 
belles-lettres. The issue of his American presses has in conse- 
quence of these qualities a distinction not always found in 
the utilitarian production of the colonial printer. His earliest 
Virginia imprints of 1730 were The New Tobacco Law, The 
Acts of the Virginia Assembly for the May Session of 1730, 
and a commercial manual known as The Dealer s Pocket 
Companion. No copies of these works are known, so that it 
is impossible to give their exact titles. In the same year, 
however, Parks printed at Williamsburg Governor William 

[ 42 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

Gooch's Charge to the Grand Jury and John Markland's 
Typography an Ode on Printing. The first of these has dis- 
tinction as the earliest extant Virginia imprint; the second as 
the first American contribution to the literature of typogra- 
phy. One copy of each is known to exist at the present time. 
Parks established The Virginia Gazette in 1736, and contin- 
ued it until his death in 1750. He built and operated a paper 
mill at Williamsburg, and in other ways made himself one 
of the most important American printers of his day. He was 
succeeded in his office of public printer of Virginia by his 
journeyman, William Hunter. 

South Carolina 

The government of South Carolina 15 offered in May, 1731, 
the sum of £1000 currency of the colony, about £175 sterl- 
ing, as aid to the first printer who should remove to distant 
Charleston. An awkward situation arose when soon there- 
after three printers appeared in Charleston, one of them, 
Eleazer Phillips, Jr., of Boston, brought by the Commons 
House of Assembly, the other two, Thomas Whitemarsh, of 
Philadelphia, and George Webb, of uncertain previous resi- 
dence, coming on their own initiatives in response to the gov- 
ernment offer. It should be said at this point that Webb left 
the colony, or died, before the award was made in the next 
year; that Phillips and his estate received the subvention of 
£1000 currency; and that Whitemarsh was paid, in re- 
sponse to his petition, the sum of .£200 as a bounty. This 
printer, indeed, had earned the good will of the Council, the 
members of which, clearly good sportsmen, had challenged 
unsuccessfully the Lower House to a contest of a sort not 
authorized by the Code of the Duel, nor, I believe, found else- 

[ 43 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

where in the history of American typography. This was sim- 
ply that an identical piece of copy be given for printing to the 
favored printer of each legislative chamber, "and then," said 
the cartel of the Council, "we shall judge who can the best 
serve the Publick." But alas for romance : the stodgy members 
of the Lower House ignored the challenge and insisted upon 
the payment of the subvention to the young printer from 

Eleazer Phillips, Jr. died in July, 1732. Thomas White- 
marsh, his successor in office, was one of Franklin's journey- 
men, sent out under a partnership agreement that began two 
days after his arrival in Charleston on September 29, 1731. 
This printer had little better fortune than Phillips, for he, 
too, as Isaiah Thomas says,"was very soon arrested by death." 
Franklin charged him with certain books on March 14, 1733/ 
34, but at that time Whitemarsh had been dead for six 

The printer who came to Charleston at the same time as 
Phillips and Whitemarsh must be regarded, in any account 
of South Carolina printing origins, as of greater interest than 
the other two, even though his name is not found on book or 
newspaper after the year of his arrival in Charleston. This 
individual was George Webb, a printer whose connection 
with South Carolina had never been mentioned by bibliog- 
rapher or historian until in March, 1933, Douglas C. Mc- 
Murtrie published in The Library an account of several 
printed pieces found by him in the Public Record Office, 
London, among them a pamphlet of six pages, bearing the 
imprint, "Charles Town, Printed by George Webb," and a 
broadside without imprint but with typographical features 
which relate it to the establishment that printed the pam- 
phlet. Both these pieces, furthermore, can be dated with rea- 

[ 44 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

sonable safety a few weeks earlier than the earliest known 
publication of Thomas Whitemarsh, discovered by Mr. Mc- 
Murtrie at the same time. The Webb pamphlet, A nno Quinto 
Georgii II. Regis. At a Council . . . Tuesday October ig, 
fyji, is without date in its imprint, but the governor's "per- 
mission," printed at the end, is dated "Nov. 4, 1731." The 
broadside proclamation attributed to Webb carries the same 
date. These two pieces would in the natural course have 
appeared earlier than the broadside, headed Charles town, 
South-Carolina, which Thomas Whitemarsh "at the Sign of 
the Table-Clock on the Bay" issued at some time after the 
date of signature printed on the document, that is, "this 27th 
Day of November, 1731." Unless contradictory evidence 
turns up, therefore, George Webb must hereafter be regarded 
as South Carolina's first printer and the printed Council Pro- 
ceedings just described as his first book. Webb's identity is 
uncertain, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that he was 
the same George Webb whom Franklin described in 1727 as 
under articles of indenture to Samuel Keimer of Philadel- 
phia. At some time in 1728, this Webb became free of his 
articles and negotiated for editorial employment with both 
Franklin and Bradford. A George Webb, Gent., was em- 
ployed by the Virginia Assembly to prepare the laws for pub- 
lication by William Parks in February, 1728, and more than 
once was appointed to that task in succeeding years. This 
same individual edited The Office and Authority of a Justice 
of Peace, printed by Parks in Williamsburg in 1736. Main- 
taining the chronological order, we next find in Charleston, 
in 1731, the George Webb in whom we are just now particu- 
larly interested. A "Mr. Webb" was associated with Wil- 
liam Parks in his Annapolis printing office in 1736. There 
are discrepancies in such dates, places, and circumstances as 

[ 45 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

are here mentioned which might be difficult to remove if one 
intended to affirm dogmatically that these several references 
pointed to the same individual. We must satisfy ourselves 
with saying that South Carolina's first printer of 1731, so far 
as is now known, was George Webb, and that this individual 
may conceivably have been one or all of the Webbs we have 
seen associated with the press in one or another capacity in 
Philadelphia, Williamsburg, and Annapolis in the period 
1727—1736. The George Webb of Philadelphia, by the way, 
as appears in a later chapter, was "sometime of Oxford," 
though an indentured servant. 

As we have seen, the official printer to the colony under 
the act of 1731, Phillips, and the semi-official printer, White- 
marsh, died, successively, in 1732 and 1733. The vacancy 
resulting from the death of Whitemarsh was soon filled by 
the arrival in Charleston of Lewis Timothy, the son of a 
French Protestant refugee, who had taken shelter in Hol- 
land at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. 
Lewis Timothy learned printing in Holland, and acquired 
there an estimable wife. Later he emigrated to Philadelphia, 
became one of Franklin's journeymen, and the first librarian 
of the Philadelphia Library Company. The story is carried 
forward by a passage in the A utobiography in which Frank- 
lin writes : "In 1733 I sent one of my journeymen to Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, where a printer was wanting. I furnish'd 
him with a press and letters, on an agreement of partnership, 
by which I was to receive one third of the profits of the busi- 
ness, paying one third of the expense. He was a man of learn- 
ing, and honest but ignorant in matters of account; and, tho' 
he sometimes made me remittances, I could get no account 
from him, nor any satisfactory state.of our partnership while 
he lived. On his decease, the business was continued by his 

[ 46 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

widow, who, being born and bred in Holland, . . . not only 
sent me as clear a state as she could find of the transactions 
past, but continued to account with the greatest regularity 
and exactness every quarter afterwards, and managed the 
business with such success, that she not only brought up rep- 
utably a family of children, but, at the expiration of the 
term, was able to purchase of me the printing-house, and 
establish her son in it." The subject of this encomium, Eliza- 
beth Timothy, died in 1757. At the time of her death, the 
business had been conducted for seventeen years in the name 
of her son, Peter Timothy. 

The first South Carolina imprints that can be traced, in 
addition to those already specified as coming from the presses 
of George Webb and Thomas Whitemarsh, were the news- 
papers established by Whitemarsh and his rival from Boston. 
Eleazer Phillips, Jr., seems to have begun, in January, 1732, 
The South Carolina Weekly Journal, which he conducted for 
six months or so between that time and his death. No copy 
of this newspaper has been found. On January 8 of the same 
year Thomas Whitemarsh began publication of The South- 
Carolina Gazette. Ceasing with his death in September, 1733, 
this paper was reestablished by Lewis Timothy in 1734. 
Until the discovery by Mr. McMurtrie of the six-page pam- 
phlet issued by George Webb in 1731, the earliest book to 
come from the South Carolina press was believed to be An 
Essay on Currency, Written in August, 1732. It was printed 
by Lewis Timothy at Charleston in 1734, and a single copy 
in the Charleston Library seems to be all that remains of the 
issue. The first South Carolina imprint of more than ordinary 
consequence was Nicholas Trott's Laws of the Province of 
South Carolina, printed notably well by Lewis Timothy in 
Charleston in 1736. 

[ 47 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
North Carolina 

Like the first printer of Virginia, the proto-typographer 
of North Carolina 16 is remembered as a man of unusual pub- 
lic spirit and of praiseworthy accomplishment. James Davis 
came from Virginia to Newbern, North Carolina, in 1749, 
possibly after serving an apprenticeship with Parks in Wil- 
liamsburg. He was appointed public printer at an annual 
salary, and in this office he remained until the year 1777. 
His first imprint, dated 1749, seems to have been The Jour- 
nal of the House of Burgesses . . . September 26 . . . October 
18, 1749. In August, 1751, Davis began the publication of 
The North Carolina Gazette, a journal that continued to be 
issued for about eight years. In 1764, he made another jour- 
nalistic effort with The North Carolina Magazine, and it is 
probable that this continued with moderate success until the 
earlier name was resumed in 1768. During the later years of 
his business activity, Davis had a rival in the person of An- 
drew Steuart, who came from Philadelphia to Wilmington, 
North Carolina, in 1764, received part of the public business 
through the influence of the Governor, began a newspaper, 
and died in 1769, after a brief period of success. 


Until the year 1763, the printing of the colony of Geor- 
gia 17 was executed in London or at Charleston in the neigh- 
boring colony of South Carolina. The colony was established 
in 1732 under the auspices of a group of men, among them 
James Oglethorpe and the first Earl of Egmont, who had 
studied with advantage the science of colonization as evolved 
from the experience of their predecessors in English Amer- 

[ 48 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

ica. It is somewhat to be wondered at that the press was not 
set up immediately by the enlightened promoters of the 
Georgia settlement, but a discussion of their failure to do the 
expected thing in this particular would lead us far afield. It 
was only in the session of March, 1762, that the Assembly- 
passed an act for the encouragement of James Johnston, 
"lately arrived in this province from Great Britain," as 
printer to the government at an annual salary of £100 
sterling. We know little of Johnston's activities until the 
appearance on April 7, 1763, of the first number of The Geor- 
gia Gazette. With the usual suspension during the Stamp Act 
troubles, this newspaper continued until the year 1776, when 
the impending Revolution made its publication impossible in 
this far southern outpost of the English colonies. On January 
30, 1783, Johnston began newspaper publication again with 
The Gazette of the State of Georgia. Soon afterwards the old 
name, The Georgia Gazette, was resumed, and the journal 
continued until 1802, when its proprietor announced that his 
age and poor health made its further publication impossible. 
No one has offered a satisfactory explanation of the absence 
of dated Savannah imprints for the year following March 4, 
1762, unless Mr. McMurtrie's assumption be correct that 
Johnston, during this period, was awaiting the arrival of his 
equipment from England. Johnston was in Savannah when, 
on the day named, the act for his encouragement was passed, 
and even at this time there was plenty of work at hand. It 
was not until June 2, 1763, however, that he began advertis- 
ing in the Georgia Gazette a series of printed acts of Assem- 
bly. The first of these in date of passage was An Act to pre- 
vent stealing of Horses and neat Cattle, passed in March, 
1759, and it is this piece that must perforce be regarded as 
the first Georgia imprint other than a newspaper. 

[ 49 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

The first press to begin operation in Louisiana 18 was set 
up in New Orleans in 1764. In this year, before the cession 
of Louisiana to Spain and England had been consummated, 
the French governor asked the home authorities to grant per- 
mission to "le Sieur Braud negociant" to establish at his own 
expense a printing office in the City of New Orleans. One 
learns from the petition that Braud, while awaiting the ar- 
rival of type and other articles of equipment ordered from 
France, had already set up a press, probably a copperplate 
printing press, and had been usefully employed in printing pa- 
per money from an engraved plate. The Governor answered 
for his intelligence and zeal, and approved his plea for the 
exclusive right to print and to sell books in the colony. The 
granting of Braud's request was the last monopoly conceded 
by the French government in Louisiana. It is probable that 
as the result of this petition the Braud press soon began its 
activities. The earliest known New Orleans imprint, a his- 
torically interesting and important broadside first recorded 
by Douglas C. McMurtrie, was the tragic Ex trait de la 
Lettre du Roi, announcing the cession of the country to Spain. 
Its imprint reads "De l'lmprimerie de Denis Braud, Impri- 
meur du Roi." It is without date, but it bears the handwrit- 
ten endorsement of the chief clerk of the local council, dated 
New Orleans, September 16, 1764. At the very beginning of 
the Spanish occupation of Louisiana, Braud came into con- 
flict with the new government. Late in 1768, there came from 
his press the Me?noire, des Habitans et Negocians de la Lou- 
isianne, sur V Evenement du 2g. Octobre iy68. Its colophon 
reads,"A La Nile. Orleans. Chez Denis Braud, Imprimeur 
du Roi. Avec permission de Mr. l'Ordonnateur. M.DCC- 

[ 50 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

LXVIII." The action that this lengthy document sought to 
justify was the expulsion of the Spanish governor, Antonio 
de Ulloa, by the uneasy French colonists, and its printing 
brought Braud before Alexander O'Reilly, when that war- 
rior came to New Orleans some months later as the governor 
of a colony then indubitably Spanish. He was let off pun- 
ishment on his plea that, as royal printer for the colony, he 
had been without option as to what should pass his press 
when copy came to him, as this had come, bearing the official 
signature of the ordonnateur. Indeed, the value to the new 
government of a printing establishment seems to have been 
well understood by O'Reilly, and it is probable that even had 
his excuse been less good, Braud would have suffered a very 
light penalty. During the period 1764-1770, some twenty 
titles, several of them pamphlets of considerable size, are 
known to have come from this busy press. The earliest im- 
print of the second New Orleans printer, Antoine Boudou- 
squie, bears the year 1777 as its date. The first newspaper re- 
corded as having been issued in that city is the Moniteur de 
la Louisiane, which probably began publication in March, 
1794, under the auspices of the printer Louis Duclot. 


The first press of Florida, 19 still a British province, was 
established by John Wells, a native-born printer of Charles- 
ton whose original loyalty to the patriot cause had been un- 
able to withstand the occupation of his city by the British in 
the closing years of the War. So outspokenly Tory had been 
his newspaper, the name of which he changed at this junc- 
ture to the Royal Gazette, that the withdrawal of the British 
forces suggested his own flight as a prerequisite of liberty and 

[ 51 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the pursuit of his business career. Early in 1783, he is found 
in St. Augustine, where, in association with his brother, Dr. 
William Charles Wells, a precursor of Darwin in the pro- 
mulgation of the theory of evolution, he began the publica- 
tion of the East-Florida Gazette, a newspaper known to exist 
today only in the three numbers found in London in the Pub- 
lic Record Office, those for March 1, May 3 and 17, 1783. 
The issue number of the earliest of these specimens indicates 
that publication began on February 1, 1783. References in the 
Savannah and Charleston newspapers make it clear enough 
that this journal continued publication until March 22, 1784, 
attaining something over a year of life. It could not, indeed, 
have carried on much longer than this, for in June, 1784, the 
Spanish authorities took over Florida in pursuance of the 
treaty by which England had ceded Florida to Spain. Some- 
time in 1784, William Charles Wells betook himself to Lon- 
don and a life of success in his profession, and John, the 
printer, joined the exodus of American loyalists from East 
Florida to English possessions in the West Indies. John 
Wells was one of the many exiles from Florida who found 
shelter and a living in the Bahama Islands. In Nassau, he 
continued his career as a newspaper publisher. His letters to 
George Chalmers, Bahama government agent in London, pre- 
served in the John Carter Brown Library, show him many 
years later actively engaged in newspaper publishing and 
government printing. It should be added that they show him 
also a man of intelligence in public affairs and, one judges, 
of high integrity and worth. He died in Nassau late in the 
year 1799. For a while after his death, the Bahama Gazette 
was, its imprint read, "Published by the Friends of John 
Wells, for the Benefit of his Heirs." 

There arises in connection with the East-Florida Gazette 



The First Presses of the Colonies 

a perplexing mention of a printer not previously, or later, I 
believe, known to historians. The imprint of that paper for 
March l, 1783, says that it was printed "by Charles Wright 
for John Wells, jun." There seems to be available no infor- 
mation about a printer named Charles Wright in Florida or 
elsewhere, and John Wells himself was a practical printer 
whose name appears alone in the imprint of two books later 
to be mentioned. The situation would be easier to explain if 
the prepositions of the imprint had been transposed ; if that 
statement had read "printed for Charles Wright by John 
Wells, jun.," we might suggest that the Charles Wright con- 
cerned was the brother of Sir James Wright, royal governor 
of Georgia, and brother also of Jermyn Wright, with whom 
he came to East Florida upon the outbreak of the revolution- 
ary troubles in Sir James's government. Charles and Jermyn 
Wright lived prominently in Florida, and, though they seem 
to have turned their abilities in several directions, there is no 
evidence that either of them was a printer. But in view of the 
explicit statement of the Gazette imprint we have the cir- 
cumstance that the earliest printer mentioned in connection 
with East Florida is this Charles Wright, who thereafter dis- 
appears from typographical history. 

In the course of his brief Florida interlude John Wells 
printed, over his own name, two books of considerable inter- 
est. One of these, Samuel Gale's Essay II, On the Nature and l^ 
Principles of Public Credit, was the second in a series of four 
elaborate economic discussions which later appeared under 
that author's name in London in the year 1784-1787. This 
second essay of the group was written in St. Augustine and 
there, in 1784, put into print by Wells but not published. In 
a notarial document printed as part of it, Gale asserted that 
between 100 and 120 copies were being printed, not for sale 

[ 53 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

or publication, but to be sent to learned persons in England 
for comment. The book, therefore, was to be regarded as 
manuscript, and the author's theories were not to be consid- 
ered as having been made public by the fact of this appear- 
ance of them in print. This is a curious instrument, unlike 
anything else in the early history of American publishing. In- 
deed, the sight of this Gale book gives the bibliographer a 
certain tensing of the faculties which warns him that he has 
before him something of unusual interest, in this case, it 
proves, something that has not yet had a historian. The book 
is so excessively scarce, furthermore, that collectors stay 
awake of nights thinking about it. 

The date of the notarial document in the Essay II is 
March 31, 1784, and on that day, its author affirmed, the 
printing of his book was almost finished. It seems likely that 
the book was off the press, though never published in this 
Florida edition, somewhat earlier than the other book John 
Wells is known to have printed in St. Augustine, for that 
other book, the Case of the Inhabitants of East-Florida, con- 
tains as the last of a long appendix of documents a communi- 
cation to the Assembly by Governor Tonyn, dated March 25, 
1784. It is probable that the book was not written until after 
this date, but its text, exclusive of the documents, is very 
short and the whole work could have been quickly put to- 
gether and printed. In view of the closeness of these dates, 
therefore, there must remain a small degree of uncertainty on 
this question of priority between the two books. The Case of 
the Inhabitants is a presentation of the claim of the Florida 
people to compensation for the losses they were about to sus- 
tain through the cession of their country to Spain. Like the 
presses of Louisiana and of Vermont, this short-lived Florida 
press found itself called immediately to the service of its 

[ w ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

community in a moment of stress and emotion. The departure 
of Wells from St. Augustine meant the cessation of printing 
in Florida for a long term of years. Its resumption in 1821 
by Richard Walker Edes, son of Peter Edes, first printer of 
Augusta, Maine, is part of the story of the nineteenth-century 


It was by chance that a further extension of the press into 
southern territory occurred in the closing years of the eight- 
eenth century. An officer of the United States Army, Andrew 
Marschalk, took with him to the fort at Walnut Hills, now 
Fort Hill, near Vicksburg, Mississippi, 20 a small press for his 
personal use. There in 1797 or 1798, he printed a ballad by 
William Reeves entitled The Galley Slave. No copy is known 
of this, the only work of belles lettres recognized as the ear- 
liest issue of an American press. Marschalk was soon per- 
suaded to move to Natchez and to take up seriously a busi- 
ness in which he afterwards became eminent. There, early 
in 1799, he printed a separate Law for the establishment of 
the Militia of the Missisippi Territory, and, later in the same 
year, the Laws of the Missisippi Territory. Sometime in 1800, 
according to the dates and issue numbers of remaining copies, 
Benjamin M. Stokes began at Natchez the publication of the 
Mississippi Gazette, the first newspaper of the territory. 

The Westward Expansion 
Western Pennsylvania 

The final advance of the press in the United States in the 
eighteenth century was its passage, accompanying the great 

[ 55 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

migrations, into the country beyond the Alleghanies. This 
westward movement was led by John Scull and Joseph Hall, 
two young Philadelphia printers, who set up their press in 
Pittsburgh 21 in 1786, and, on July 29 of that year, began the 
publication of the Pittsburgh Gazette. The town from which 
this paper took its name, since become one of the great cities 
of the world, numbered at that time but three hundred in- 
habitants, but its situation at the point where the Monon- 
gahela and the Alleghany Rivers join their waters to form 
the Ohio, had predestined it to be the gateway to the Ohio 
country since the establishment at that spot of Fort Duquesne 
by the French a generation earlier. The earliest extant issue 
of the press of John Scull, or of Scull & Boyd, as the firm be- 
came when Joseph Hall died, was the Pittsburg Almanac for 


The printers of the country showed themselves as fully 
charged with the pioneer spirit as any men of their day. Not 
content to stand in the gateway, they followed close upon 
those who opened the new districts to settlement. In this 
place we need mention only the strategic points they occu- 
pied in their advance. In July, 1786, the town of Lexington, 
Kentucky, 22 voted a free lot to John Bradford as encourage- 
ment in the establishment of a printing house in a community 
just then intent upon separation from Virginia. The record 
of the transportation of Bradford's press and letters by wagon 
over the mountains to Pittsburgh, down the Ohio to Mays- 
ville, by pack horse southward to Lexington is one of the best 
remembered stories of the westward migration of the press. 
In the journey across country from Maysville to Lexington, 
the type, as Bradford wrote, "fell into pi," so that when his 

[ 56 ] 

The First Presses of the Colonies 

brother, and practical assistant, Fielding Bradford, became 
ill at the critical moment, the troubled printer had great diffi- 
culty in bringing out on August 11, 1787, the first issue of 
the Kentucke Gazette. So far as yet determined, the earliest 
issue of Bradford's press in the form of a book was The Ken- 
tucke Almanack for 1788, first advertised for sale on Janu- 
ary 5, of that year, but announced as "preparing for the 
Press" as early as October 13, 1787. 


The operations of the press in the Southwest, or what was 
then the Southwest — the territory south of Kentucky, west of 
North Carolina, and east of the Mississippi — began with the 
coming of George Roulstone and Robert Ferguson, experi- 
enced printers and newspaper publishers from North Caro- 
lina, to a little village of the present state of Tennessee 23 
called Hawkins Court House, now Rogersville. This situa- 
tion seems to have been merely a pied a terre for the printers 
until the new capital, Knoxville, then being laid out, should 
be ready for its inhabitants. At Hawkins Court House, the 
two printers issued on November 5, 1791, the Knoxville Ga- 
zette. Eleven months later the establishment was removed to 
the town for which the Gazette was named. The first imprint 
of this press other than its newspaper, so far as is known, was 
the Acts and Ordinances of the Governor and Judges, of the 
Territory of the United States of America South of the River 
Ohio. This piece, without imprint, has been identified by Mr. 
McMurtrie as coming from Roulstone's press at Knoxville 
in 1793. 

[ 57 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
Ohio and Michigan 

The press in Ohio 24 was instituted through the initiative 
of William Maxwell, who went to Cincinnati in 1793 after 
a brief career as the proprietor of a printing shop in Lexing- 
ton, Kentucky. On November 9, 1793, Maxwell began The 
Centinel of the North-Western Territory. It is said that the 
first book to issue from the Cincinnati press was the signifi- 
cant volume he printed in 1796, The Lazvs of the Territory 
of the United States North-West of the Ohio. No good rea- 
son exists for doubting that this was the first book of the 
Northwest Territory, but probably not far behind it in time 
of issue comes An Act passed at the First Session of the 
Fourth Congress of the United States . . . the Seventh of 
December, //^printed by John McCall in Detroit in 1796. 
Except for this little book, a few blank forms, and a charge 
against him in a merchant's account book, nothing is known 
about John McCall, whence he came, whither he went, what 
he did in Michigan 25 or elsewhere after his operation of a 
press in that place in 1796. 

All these western presses were remarkable for the extent 
of their participation in the problems of the communities in 
which they were placed. They served the immediate local 
needs of the expanding communities and took part in the 
struggles for individual statehood of the new territories. Into 
the discussion of the current constitutional affairs of the new 
union of states they entered vigorously, making it clear that 
the western communities were not segregated colonies but an 
integral part of the nation. No section of the country has 
greater reason for pride in its pioneer press than that which 
we now call the Middle West, the Far West of the post- 
colonial period. 

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S ^ H O 

The Colonial Printing House 

CONSIDERATION of the shop equipment, or, as it 
was called in the language of the trade, the "print- 
ing house," of the colonial printer provides enter- 
tainment for the antiquarian and instruction for the amateur 
of books. The sight of a skilled workman plying his tools is 
one of the experiences that sweeten life, and it would be 
pleasant if in these pages we could follow a manuscript 
through all the processes of the printing shop until it was 
turned out a finished and bound volume for the reader's de- 
lectation, observing the several mechanical problems that 
arose in its progress and studying the means employed for their 
solution. There is no royal road, however, to an understand- 
ing of the intricate though orderly processes of these estab- 
lishments. Any brief and non-technical account of printing- 
house operations invariably leaves the reader almost where 
he began with regard to the very matters of detail that cause 
him the most trouble to comprehend. 1 No attempt will be 
made here, therefore, to give instruction in the art of print- 
ing, but rather, more simply, to represent the physical equip- 
ment of the colonial American printing house, keeping in 
mind always that a greater understanding of a man and of 
his work comes with knowledge of the tools he employs in 
the daily practice of his craft. 

Press and Appurtenances 

There seem to have been recognized in the colonies three 
types of printing office, differentiated by quantity rather than 
by kind of equipment, and designated in the common speech 

t 61 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

of the craft as "one press," "two press," and "three press" 
shops. In the tables on pages 63 and 65 are given lists of the 
shop equipment in establishments of each of these classes. 
The one-press shop is presented there through the medium of 
a letter that Franklin, in 1753, wrote his London correspond- 
ent, William Strahan, bespeaking a complete equipment for 
a nephew whom he intended setting up in business in New 
Haven. It should be said that except for small differences, 
this was the amount of equipment, "the utensils for print- 
ing," which Samuel Green listed in 1662 as the property 
of the Corporation, sent over in 1659 to expedite the print- 
ing of the Indian Bible. For a picture of the two-press estab- 
lishment, the normal shop from which issued an impressively 
large part of the printed matter of the period, an average 
has been taken of the materials listed in the inventories of 
William Rind of Williamsburg, Anne Catharine Green of 
Annapolis, and John Holt of New York. The inventory of 
the firm of Franklin & Hall, made at the dissolution of the 
firm in 1766, provides the list of equipment for the excep- 
tional shop of the three-press class maintained by that fa- 
mous house. 2 The still larger shops of the later years of the cen- 
tury, represented by the establishments of Christopher Sower, 
Jr., of Germantown, and Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, are 
somewhat beyond the range of an analysis that deals only with 
the normal printing house of the pre-Revolutionary period. 

Certain small but essential articles of printing-house equip- 
ment are omitted from the list on page 63 for the reason that 
these implements are not invariably specified in the invento- 
ries examined. In one or another of the documents in ques- 
tion, however, are mentioned poles for drying paper, reglet 
in indeterminate quantity, gutter sticks, side sticks, shooting 
sticks, quoins, planes, letter racks, case racks, cutting presses, 

[ 62 ] 

Plate I 


The Colonial Printing House 

book presses and other instruments for bookbinding, lye 
troughs, and wetting troughs. Save for the implements of 
bookbinding, all of these articles were common necessities of 
every shop, to be found in a number or quantity proportion- 
ate to the type of shop examined. The fact that few of these 

Equipment of the Colonial Shops 






Frames (i.e., stands 
for type cases — 
single and double) 

Composing sticks 
Imposing Stones 

Letter boards 

One Press Tivo Press 

One Two, with extra fris- 

kets and tympans 
Two pairs 

Two pairs Four pairs 

Three pairs, the big- Ten 

gest, demi 

Two folio, each with Seventeen royal demi 

four shies and quarto as well as 

Four quarto sliding galleys and 

three-column gal leys 

for newspaper work 

[Four] Eight 

Three Press 





Eight, both wood & iron 

Twelve pairs 
and double 



Three folio 
Eight quarto 
Seven small quarto 



Eighty-five (some 
old and shat- 

Sixteen (only ten 

pieces of "furniture" were mentioned in the list of equipment 
ordered by Franklin for his nephew's one-press shop means 
simply that all of them except the bookbinding implements 
could be manufactured locally by the village cabinet maker. 
Furthermore, it is known from a later letter that Franklin in- 
tended to supply some of the equipment for the New Haven 
shop from his own superfluous stock of printing-house furni- 

In the dictionaries of common use, and in the glossaries 
attached to various works on printing, especially to the pro- 

[ 63 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

totype, the "stockfather," of them all, Moxon's Mcchanick 
Exercises, of 1683, trie uses °f a ^ the articles named in these 
lists of equipment can be found fully described. Perhaps no 
comment is required here beyond the hazarding of a guess 
that the "sliding" galley found in our two-press shop was 
probably the "slice" galley, common then and now, with a 
bottom in the form of a board that slides in and out of its 
frame to facilitate the deposit of a heavy page of type upon 
the imposing stone. It must be remembered always, in think- 
ing of the old-time galleys, that they were of the sizes requi- 
site to contain only single pages of type in the folio, the 
quarto, and the small quarto formats. The matter of the early 
book was set at once in its page form without the intermedia- 
tion of the proving galley. The long tray of twenty-four 
inches we know today as a "galley," from which our "galley 
proofs" take their designation, is an article of later evolu- 
tion. 3 (Plates 1, 11 and in.) 

Letter Fonts 

There occurs a quickening of interest in our minds when, 
through the medium of another group of lists, we pass to con- 
sideration of the sizes and quantities of type employed in the 
business of the colonial printers. As before, it proves con- 
venient to use in the table on page 65 the rough classification 
provided by the terms "one press," "two press," and "three 
press" shops. In our chapter on "Type and Type Founding," 
there is to be found a discussion of the kinds of type employed 
in the colonial establishments of the three classes designated. 
The tabulation that follows is simply a sort of stock-taking, 
by weight and sizes, of the amounts of letter to be found in 
active concerns of the period. 

[ 64 ] 



The Colonial Printing House 

Printing Type in the American Shops 

One Press 

Tivo Press 

Three Press 


brevier, much worn 


brevier, serviceable 

600 bourgeois (badly 


bourgeois, serviceable 


200 bourgeois 

300 Ions: primer with sorts 

400 long primer 


long primer, serviceable 

for an almanac 

390 small pica 


small pica, much worn 

300 pica 


pica, much worn 

100 great primer 


great primer, serviceable 

300 English 

360 English 


English, much worn 


English, serviceable 

60 double pica 


double pica, serviceable 

50 two line English 


double English serviceable 

40 two line great primer 

30 two line capitals 

20 quotations 

Brass rules 


Flowers, etc. 



Head & tail pieces 

300 sorts 



(1200 lbs.) 

(2250 lbs.) 

(4040 lbs.) 

( These ivere the fonts ordered 

( This is the amount in the 

( From the Franklin &f Hall inven- 

from London by Franklin for 

Green establishment — 



his nephew.) 

2250 lbs. The average 

for the three shops of 
Rind, Green, and Holt 
■was only 1600 lbs.) 

Monetary Value of Plant 

The value in terms of money of the three classes of print- 
ing establishments represented in the lists here given is a mat- 
ter of some interest. 4 Taking them in normal order, we find 
that the "little print'g house," presumably new, which Sir 
William Keith proposed to purchase for Franklin, about the 
year 1724, was to cost £100 sterling. When Franklin sent 

[ 65 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Thomas Whitemarsh to South Carolina in 1731 under a silent 
partnership agreement, he charged him on his Ledger with 
"a printing house and materials £80 o o," stated in sterling 
money. The cost of the one-press shop Franklin ordered from 
England for his nephew in 1753, comprising a new press and 
new Caslon type, is found to be about £75 sterling. From 
these figures we may conclude that the average value of a 
new one-press shop in the period 1724 to 1753 was approxi- 
mately £85 in sterling money. There is little difference found 
in the value of the printing houses of the entire colonial pe- 
riod if the condition and length of service of the presses and 
fonts are given consideration in the calculations. The press 
and equipment that the Reverend Jose Glover carried to 
Cambridge in 1638 is supposed to have cost something more 
than £49, but it is not known whether the equipment was 
new in whole or even in part. It is certain, however, that the 
well-worn printing house of Marmaduke Johnson, at the time 
of his death at Boston in 1674, was inventoried at £50, ex- 
clusive of the "book Bynders Press & tooles" which appear in 
the list at £6. The much-used equipment of Thomas Short of 
Connecticut, including the binding implements at £3, was 
appraised in 1712 at £48 sterling. Nearly sixty years later, 
Isaiah Thomas agreed to purchase Zachariah Fowle's one- 
press printing house for the sum of £53 and some odd shil- 

By averaging the inventoried appraisals of the three print- 
ing houses that we have already thrown together to form a 
composite two-press colonial establishment, we find the value 
of the equipment of the hypothetical shop to be £107 cur- 
rency. At the time these inventories were made, however, 
Mrs. Green's equipment was very much worn through long 
use, and one of John Holt's presses had been damaged by 

[ 66 ] 





The Colonial Printing House 

fire. Because of these considerations one is justified in assum- 
ing £125 currency to be a more nearly correct valuation of a 
two-press printing house in normal working condition. If fifty 
per cent may be taken as the normal premium of sterling over 
the currencies of the various colonies in the mid-eighteenth 
century, this sum may be restated at £83 sterling money. 

The inventoried value of the large but well-worn estab- 
lishment of Franklin & Hall representing, in 1766, three 
presses and more than 4000 pounds of type, was £313 10s. 
currency, or £184 10s. sterling at seventy per cent, the nor- 
mal sterling premium over Pennsylvania money during the 
period of the partnership. In 1753, William Hunter paid the 
executors of William Parks of Williamsburg the sum of £359 
currency, or, as we know more exactly in this case, £288 ster- 
ling, for "sundry printing materials." 3 The accounts of the 
estate fail to itemize the equipment for which this relatively 
large sum was exchanged, but an examination of the number 
and character of the works issued by Parks is sufficiently clear 
evidence that this Williamsburg shop was one of the larger 
and more adequately equipped establishments of the period. 

If one wished to point a moral in the presentation here of 
these lists of equipment and in their evaluation in money, he 
would turn to the printing house of the two-press shop for 
his text. It was with this meagre equipment, and with an 
amount of labor and ingenuity inversely proportional to its 
scantiness, perhaps, that the normal colonial printer carried 
on a lively business in book, job, and newspaper publishing. 
The sum of £83 sterling in the mid-eighteenth century was, 
roughly calculated, the equivalent of two thousand dollars 
in terms of our own currency. Any well-established job print- 
er of the present day would consider himself impoverished if 
his equipment were cut down to a money value relatively as 

[ 67 i 

The Colonial Printer 

low as that of the materials here enumerated. The same man, 
with power presses and type-setting machines at his com- 
mand, would throw up his hands if he were asked to dupli- 
cate some of the notable issues of colonial establishments of 
this type. It was by the economical and skilful use of such 
equipment as this that Lewis Timothy's Laws of South Car- 
olina, Parks's Collection of all the Acts of Virginia, Jonas 
Green's Laws of Maryland, the Mennonite Martyr Book, the 
Eliot Indian Bible, the Sower German Bible of 1743, and a 
score of other monumental works, some of them hideous to 
the eye, others composed and impressed in the grand manner 
of the masters of typography, were issued almost as a matter 
of course from the dingy and ill-lighted shops of a pioneer 

68 ] 


The Colonial Printing Press 

NO single article of equipment used by the colonial 
American printer has been more casually treated in 
designation and in description than the all-impor- 
tant wooden printing press with which he and his European 
predecessors worked from almost the earliest days of print- 
ing. The press of the American shop is usually loosely referred 
to by those who write of it as being either of the "Blaeu" of 
the "Ramage" type. Further definition is left discreetly to 
the reader, who, usually, is just as discreetly satisfied with 
the terms employed. In the ordinary sense, it makes little dif- 
ference which of these presses he used, but while we are study- 
ing the antiquarian aspects of the colonial printer's trade, it 
is well to determine, as nearly as may be done, the character 
of his principal implements. To do this is especially pertinent 
in the present case, inasmuch as the press he used was cer- 
tainly not of the Ramage variety, and if it was the Blaeu 
press, 1 it was so modified in the characteristic features of that 
machine as hardly to deserve the name in designation. 

The Ramage Press not of the Period 

The date of the earliest employment of the Ramage press 
in this country is difficult to determine. As it happens, how- 
ever, the difficulty is not a matter of embarrassment to the 
colonial historian, for it was not until sometime between 1 795 
and 1800, at the very close of the period, that Adam Ramage 
came from Scotland to take up his residence and trade iq 
Philadelphia. 2 Just how soon after his arrival he began to 
build the improved press that has caused his name to be re- 

[ 69 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

membered is not certain, but it is clear that the popular ma- 
chine he devised could not have been a feature in the printing 
shop of the colonial period. We can leave the Ramage press 
out of the present discussion with a free mind, and return 
later to a brief description of it as one of the inventions that 
heralded a better day for the printer whose life carried him 
into the new century. 

The Blaeu Press versus the Common Press 

It is advisable to refrain from dogmatic assertion in dis- 
cussion of the Blaeu press for the reason that while we know 
what it was, it is not easy to be sure what it was not. Moxon 
has given a full description of all its parts, but neither Mox- 
on nor anyone has given a description of the "old fashion'd" 
press used in England long before the Blaeu press was heard 
of, and, if we may believe the evidence, long after the Dutch 
, machine had ceased to interest the English printer. In Mox- 
on's opinion, the Blaeu press was so superior to the earlier 
machine that he felt impelled for the "Publick benefit" to 
urge its adoption by the printers of his day, but in taking for 
granted contemporary knowledge of the difference between 
the two types of machine, he justifiably forgot posterity and 
failed to point out clearly the nature of the improvements to 
be found in the new press. He complicated the matter further 
by omitting from his picture of the earlier press the mecha- 
nism of rounce, winch, and girt barrel, specifically known as 
the "rounce," by means of which the carriage was moved in 
and out beneath the platen. But those who deduce from this 
omission that the rounce was invented by Blaeu, that before 
his day the heavy carriage was moved by pushing and pull- 
ing, and that all presses showing the rounce are Blaeu presses, 

[ 70 ] 

Plate IV 

The Colonial Printing House 

betray imperfect knowledge of the earlier history of the print- 
ing press. As early as the year 1507, a hundred and thirteen 
years before the supposed date of invention of the Blaeu ma-; 
chine, the first of the several printers' marks used by Badius 
Ascensius of Paris represented a press on which was clearly 
shown a rounce with a pressman in the act of moving the car- 
riage by its agency. Furthermore, in a series of pictures of six- 
teenth-century presses brought together and reproduced by 
Falconer Madan, the rounce is seen to be an almost invari- 
able feature of the mechanism. It is also to be observed in 
these representations that the part of the press (called for 
obvious reasons the "hose") which houses the spindle of the 
screw below the threaded portion, and serves to guide and 
stabilize the vertical motion of spindle and platen, is nearly 
always in the form of an upright, oblong wooden block with 
squared sides. This feature will be spoken of later in the dis- 
cussion. 3 

The rounce mechanism that becomes the central feature of 
this discussion was simply a horizontal windlass extending 
from side to side of the press beneath the "plank" or floor, of 
the carriage. 4 Midway of its axle was a drum upon which 
were wound two leather straps, or "girts," running thence in 
either direction the length of the carriage. The free end of 
one of these straps was attached to the hind edge of the 
plank; of the other, to the frame of the graphically named 
"coffin," the receptacle for the type form that rode near the 
front and on top of the carriage. To adjust the carriage, or 
technically, to "set the rounce," so that the type form, under 
different conditions and for each of the two pulls necessary 
for the printing of one side of a sheet, should come exactly 
beneath the platen, was a task of some nicety. From Moxon's 
animadversions it is known that in the old-fashioned press 

[ 71 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the setting of the rounce was accompanied by labor, incon- 
venience, and uncertainty of result, because when the slack 
of the girts had been taken up it was necessary to make their 
free ends fast to the plank and to the coffin by the primitive 
method of nailing. The damage to the wooden work caused 
by the repeated driving and drawing of nails provided, more- 
over, a constant and unavoidable factor of wear and tear on 
the machine. In the Blaeu press the setting of the rounce was 
accomplished more effectively and with less labor, for in this 
machine, drums fitted with ratchets were fixed approximately 
in the positions at either end of the carriage where in the old 
press the girts had been fastened by nails. (Plate i.) By 
means of this device the pressman could take up the slack in 
the girts and quickly set his rounce for a movement of what- 
ever distance was required for the job in hand. This feature 
and the iron "hose," next to be discussed, seem to embody the 
chief mechanical improvements found in the new press, for 
the gallows, or movable rest for the tympan, and the gutter 
to carry off the water from the tympan, were mere new- 
fangled "gadgets," conveniences not based upon improved 
mechanical ideas. 

In the Dutch press, the structure of the "hose" that stabi- 
lized the spindle at the moment of pressure and so prevented 
the slurring of the type impression seems to have been re- 
garded by Moxon as an advance toward mechanical perfec- 
tion. It has already been pointed out that in the earlier presses 
the hose was in the form of "a long, square box, or block of 
wood, through which is turned a hollow cone, fitting the 
conical or tapering part of the spindle." The spindle was 
held firmly in the hose by means of the "garter," a sort of 
iron collar fixed in the inner surface of the hose and fitting 
around a groove in the spindle. In the Blaeu press the hose 

[ 72 ] 





The Colonial Printing House 

no longer bears the shape that its name suggests; it is no 
longer what in modern parlance is called a sleeve. In this im- 
proved machine the hose and its garter take the form of an 
iron yoke, shown in the reconstruction on Plate iv more 
clearly than through the medium of verbal description. The 
English printers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth cen- 
turies, Johnson records in his Typographic found the box 
hose of the older press a better agency for the steadying of 
the spindle than the iron yoke of the Dutch press, but it is 
significant that in the chief principles of construction, the 
hose of the improved Ramage press of the early nineteenth 
century was nearly that of the Dutch press approved by Mox- 
on. This feature of the Dutch machine was not indeed of 
Blaeu's invention, for it is seen in the presses used by Chris- 
topher Plantin, who died in 1589, a generation or more be- 
fore Blaeu took up the avocation of press building. It was 
probably found as a general thing in the Low Country presses 
and taken from them by Blaeu as a matter of course. But 
whatever the origin of the hose in the form of an iron yoke, 
its presence on the Blaeu press as shown in the cuts of Moxon, 
Luckombe, and Johnson was the chief visible feature distin- 
guishing it from the old-fashioned English press. 4 In our Ap- 
pendix appears a series of drawings made for this book by 
Mr. Ralph Green in which are graphically displayed the dif- 
ferences between the so-called Blaeu press and the old-fash- 
ioned press which are discussed in the foregoing paragraphs. 
After reading Moxon's description of the Blaeu press one 
concludes that the rigid iron hose and the improved rounce 
mechanism were the more important appliances that made it 
superior, in his judgment, to the old-fashioned press he de- 
spised as "a makeshift slovenly Contrivance." It may have 
been neither of these features, however, that gave the im- 

[ 73 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ported machine its superiority, but, more simply, the finer 
workmanship of the Dutch joiner and smith; it may have 
been indeed, that its superiority lay in all those prescriptions 
as to the different varieties of wood to be used, the directions 
as to dovetailing and mitering, the careful fitting of the iron 
parts, the bevelling, the squaring, the grooving, and the ex- 
actness of measurement that Moxon insists upon and for 
which he gives specific directions, passed over impatiently by 
the general reader. 

It has already been said that the superior features of the 
Dutch press were urged very strongly by Moxon, who dis- 
missed the old-fashioned press as being unworthy of the ef- 
fort required to describe it. Thirty years later we find James 
Watson of Edinburgh commenting upon the old English 
press in terms as strong as those employed by Moxon. "One 
new-fashion'd Dutch Press," he writes, "is worth half a 
Score of such. ... I my self have known a Press of the new 
Make brought hither from Holland, work near Twenty 
Years, and in all that time neither Smith nor Joiner call'd 
for to her ; . . . I beseech you, as you are tender of your own 
Interest, to bring Home your Presses from Holland ; or make 
them here, after the Fashion of that Country." 5 With the 
best authorities urging the use of the Blaeu press and with its 
general employment in the Low Countries as an example to 
the British printer, it is difficult to understand his failure to 
make greater use of the improved machine, for as a general 
rule he was not prejudiced against the products of his neigh- 
bor's ingenuity. In the seventeenth century he made greater 
use of Dutch type than of the letters of English founders; 
Dutch paper was regularly purchased, and many engravers 
were brought from the Low Countries to exercise their skill 
in the illustration of English books. The Dutch and the 

[ 74 1 

The Colonial Printing House 

Flemish indeed were the schoolmasters of the English in the 
arts and industries for a long period, but for some reason the 
Dutch press never was made to feel at home in England. One 
may not say, so long afterwards, whether the reason for this 
apparent blindness to his own interests was the insular con- 
servatism of the English printer, the motive of economy, or 
a genuine and well-considered preference for the simpler 
structure of the old-fashioned machine. 

We have the evidence of Moxon that when he was writ- 
ing, in 1683, the old-fashioned press was "generally used 
here in England." In 1713, James Watson, writing of con- 
ditions in the Scotch printing houses, recorded the fact that 
"Our Presses are now generally of the old English Fashion, 
which the)^ were not formerly." The press that Benjamin 
Franklin worked at in Watts's shop in London, in 1726, now 
in the Smithsonian Institution, was of the old-fashioned type. 
The clouds seem to lift for a time when Luckombe gives a 
cut of the Blaeu press in his book, published in 1770, and, as 
if intimating that the Blaeu machine had at last come into 
general use writes that "the old sort, till of late years, were 
the only Presses used in England." But Luckombe's testi- 
mony is unreliable because throughout the technical portion 
of his book he copies Moxon verbatim with only an occa- 
sional paraphrase, and one suspects these words to be a para- 
phrase of Moxon's statement, "The old fashion is generally 
used here in England." If we accept Luckombe's substituted 
clause at its full meaning, however, and agree that in 1770 
the Blaeu press had at last taken root in England, we are 
soon in difficulties, for in 1808 Stower describes and pictures 
under the caption, "The Common Press," nothing other than 
the old-fashioned machine contemned by Moxon a century 
and a quarter earlier, and says in his text that this type of 

[ is ] 

The Colonial Printer 

press has been generally used for more than fifty years. In 
1824, Johnson described an "improved wooden press" as hav- 
ing been in "general use in this country [England] for more 
than the last century." This press, too, as shown in Johnson's 
cut, seems to possess only the features of the press known as 
"old fashion'd" in Moxon's day. Reflection upon the evi- 
dence derived from these works does not enable one to isolate 
any period of years in which the Blaeu press attained con- 
sistent usage by the printers of the British Isles. 6 (Plate v.) 
It is sometimes thought that the "common press" and the 
"improved wooden press" described by Stower and Johnson 
were, as these writers themselves seem to have believed, im- 
proved forms of the Blaeu press. The improvement in the 
Stower and Johnson presses, however, as compared to the 
"old-fashioned press," which Moxon despised, must have 
lain in the factor of superior construction rather than in their 
employment of the mechanical features just described as dif- 
ferentiating the Dutch machine, that is, the hose in the form 
of an iron yoke, and the ratchet and roller mechanism for 
taking up the slack of the girts in setting the rounce. In their 
essential principles of construction and operation, these were 
presses of the old-fashioned kind known in England before 
Moxon urged the adoption there of the Dutch, or Blaeu, ma- 
chine. The "hose" of the press described by Stower and John- 
son is a sleeve in the form of an oblong wooden box, and the 
girts of the rounce are attached to the plank by nails, or 
preferably (and here is an advance over the ancient prac- 
tice), by thumbscrews. Either the Blaeu press had never been 
adopted to any extent by English printers up to this time or 
it had been tried by them and found wanting. It is not a ques- 
tion of their wisdom or their lack of it, but simply of the fact, 
and the evidence seems to show the fact to be that for two 

[ 76 ] 

The Colonial Printing Press 

centuries the English printer continued to distrust the Blaeu 
press as a foreign invention. If we may believe the evidence 
of our eyes in examining the pictures of the press which 
Stower and Johnson describe as the common press of their 
time, it was still misunderstood and distrusted by him when 
all types of wooden press were suddenly relegated to the 
lumber room by the Stanhope and the other iron presses that 
came into being in the early years of the nineteenth century. 
One of the drawings by Mr. Green in our Appendix shows the 
common wooden press of Stower and names its essential parts. 
The American colonial printer used the materials and ma- 
chinery he had been taught to work with in the English shops. 
There remain among the relics of the period the press used by 
Isaiah Thomas, now in the American Antiquarian Society at 
Worcester; the so-called "Stephen Daye press," in the Ver- 
mont Historical Society at Montpelier; the press of Peter 
Edes, formerly in the Public Library of Bangor, Maine ; the 
James Franklin press in the Massachusetts Mechanics Chari- 
table Association in Boston ; two Ephrata Monastery presses, 
one belonging to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, now 
displayed by the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, the other 
the property of the Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan. And 
we have, too, the woodcut representation of a press, incredibly 
poor in drawing, which ornamented the title-page of Samuel 
Saurs Calender of Chestnut Hill, 1792. All these presses are 
of the type described by Moxon as the old-fashioned press, "a 
makeshift slovenly contrivance," lacking the iron hose in the 
form of a yoke and the improved rounce mechanism, though 
the Ephrata presses, imported from Germany, it is said, show 
some modification of the common, "old-fashioned" English 
press. The hind end of the plank shows too, in such of this 
group of presses as I have seen, innumerable nail holes re- 

[ 77 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

suiting from employment of the older method of taking up the 
slack of the girts. It is hardly to be doubted that these ex- 
amples represent the type of press generally used in the colo- 
nial American shops. (Plate vi.) 

Franklin's Proposed Improvement 

One may suspect that even the greatly improved press 
Moxon described was far from being a faultless mechanism. 
Conviction of the truth of this suspicion forces itself upon us 
in reading the old writer's directions for setting up the press, 
and his later prescriptions for its successful operation. Yet 
with all its imperfections and with the greater imperfection 
of the old English press, there seem to have occurred few im- 
provements in either so long as the wooden printing machine 
continued to be used. A factor of importance in the satisfac- 
tory operation of the press was the smoothness with which 
the carriage, 4 bearing the type forms, moved in and out be- 
neath the platen. Fastened to the underside of the carriage 
were the "cramp irons," two parallel rows of iron lugs, 
transversely set, which, in the movement of the carriage, ran 
upon longitudinal, parallel metal "ribs," or tracks, supported 
by the "winter" and by a frame, or "stay," with the floor as 
its base. In their passage back and forth, the cramp irons bore 
upon the ribs, face to face, at right angles to their length, and 
Moxon tells us that "the upper sides of these Ribs must be 
purely Smooth-nTd and Polish'd and the edges a little Bev- 
il'd roundish away, that they may be somewhat Arching at 
the top; because then the Cramp-irons Run more easily and 
ticklishly over them." And it is found to be true that when 
the Isaiah Thomas press was constructed nearly a century 
later it was equipped with ribs that were "somewhat Arching 

[ 78 ] 

Plate VI 

The Colonial Printing Press 

at the top," though in the meantime at least one printer had 
perceived and endeavored to correct the fundamental me- 
chanical error present in this feature of the carriage move- 
ment. It was Franklin who, ordering a press for his nephew 
in 1753, wrote to William Strahan of London with this ad- 
mirable suggestion : 

"If you can persuade your press-maker to go out of his old 
road a little, I would have the ribs made not with the face 
rounding outwards, as usual, but a little hollow or rounding 
inwards from end to end ; and the cramps made of hard cast 
brass, fixed not across the ribs, but longways, so a£ to slide 
in the hollow face of the ribs. The reason is, that brass and 
iron work better together than iron and iron. Such a press 
never gravels ; the hollow face of the ribs keeps the oil better, 
and the cramps, bearing on a large surface, do not wear, as 
in the common method. Of this I have had many years' ex- 
perience." 7 

The Operation of the Old Wooden Press 

With all the clumsiness of action that characterized the 
wooden press, whether of the old English type or of the 
Dutch model, one is astonished to learn of the amount of 
daily work it was capable of performing. Its relatively high 
production rate seems to have been attained by the skill of 
the workman set to overcome the deficiencies of the tool. 
Nothing so astonishes the reader of Moxon's meaty pages as 
to learn that scientific motion study, one of our modern fe- 
tishes, was an old story in the seventeenth-century printing 
shops. To produce a single impression of type on paper, there 
were required thirteen distinct processes involving a bewil- 
dering number and variety of set and coordinated movements 

[ 79 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

on the part of the two workmen serving the press. The hourly 
product of a single press served by two men was, in theory, in 
a well-organized office, no less than a "token," or 240 sheets, 
printed on one side with two pulls to the form, and in order 
to approximate this stint throughout a long working day, a 
rigid discipline of their movements was required of the men 
working at press. In a working day of ten hours a press con- 
tinuously served with no changing of forms could theoreti- 
cally turn out ten tokens, or 2400 sheets, printed on one side. 
Inevitably the ordinary shop routine in a day of ten hours 
would reduce this number to a normal output of eight tokens, 
but the figure shows at least the admirable speed at which 
skilful men could operate a machine that we too condescend- 
ingly regard as a rackety and clumsy contrivance. 8 In spite 
of the apparent crudity of the old wooden press, it deserved 
the respect that Moxon bespoke for it, in its Dutch form at 
least, as "a Machine invented upon mature consideration of 
Mechanick Powers, deducted from Geometrick Principles." 

Certain paragraphs from Moxon's book explain the pro- 
cesses gone through by two pressmen working at the old 
wooden press. They are interesting and pleasant to read : 

"We will suppose now two Press-men going in the Morn- 
ing to their train of Work : The one they distinguish by the 
name of First, the other his Second, these call one another 
Companions : The First is he that has wrought longest at that 
Press, except an Apprentice, for he must allow any Journey- 
man though new-come that stile: Generally the Master 
Printer reposes the greatest trust upon his care and curiosity 
for good Work; although both are equally liable to per- 
form it. 

"All the priviledge that the First has above the Second is, 
that the First takes his choice to Pull or Beat the agreed stint 

[ 80 ] 



The Colonial Printing Press 

first : And that the Second Knocks up the Balls, Washes the 
Forms, Teizes Wooll, and does the other more servile Work, 
while the First is imploid about making Register, ordering 
the Tympan, Frisket, and Points, &c. or otherwise Making 
Ready the Form, &c. 

"The First now takes his spell at Pulling: For the First 
and Second take their spell of Pulling and Beating an agreed 
number of Tokens: Sometimes they agree to change every 
three Tokens, which is three Hours work, and sometimes 
every six Tokens; that they may both Pull and Beat a like 
number of Tokens in one day. 

"Under the general notion of Pulling and beating is com- 
prised all the operations that is in a train of work performed 
by the Puller and the Beater: For though the Puller Lays 
on Sheets, Lays down the Frisket, Lays down the Tympans 
and Frisket, Runs in the Carriage, Runs out the Carriage, 
takes up the Tympans, Takes up the Frisket, Picks the Form, 
Takes off the Sheet, and Lays it on the Heap, yet all these 
Operations are in the general mingled and lost in the name 
of Pulling. And as in Pulling, so in Beating; for though the 
Beater Rubs out his Inck, Slices it up, Destribute the Balls, 
peruses the Heap, &c. yet all these Operations are lost in the 
general name of Beating. Thus they say the First or the 
Second is Pulling; or, the First or the Second is Beating; 
though they are performing the different Operations afore- 
said : unless upon particular occasions the respective Opera- 
tions are particularly nam'd. 

"As there are many Operations conjunct to Pulling, and 
Beating, so the Press-man performs them with various Set 
and Formal Postures and Gestures of the Body." (Plate vn.) 

Here follow ten pages specifying innumerable operations 
of hand, eye, and brain that the curious may read with in- 

[ 81 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

terest and profit. One feels, after studying this portion of 
Moxon's book, even superficially, that the only difficult thing 
in the pressman's task was the doing of it. 8 

Press Building in the Colonies 

It is probable that until well after the middle of the eight- 
eenth century the printing press remained among the arti- 
cles the American printer was compelled to import from 
or through England. Isaiah Thomas says that Christopher 
Sower, the Elder, of Germantown, made his own presses as 
early as 1750, but Sower was a universal mechanic who prac- 
tised some sixteen trades, including those of the preacher and 
the doctor. It is likely that he made his own presses, but there 
is no reason to believe that he made presses for other printers 
or took up to any extent the manufacture of printing machin- 
ery as a commercial enterprise. If it were true that he had 
extended his activities beyond the doors of his own shop, we 
probably should not have found Franklin, in 1753, ordering 
a press from England for the nephew whom he proposed set- 
ting up in New Haven. It is probable that the difficulty of 
machining the iron screw essential to the operation of the 
press compelled the American printer to send for the chief 
implement of his trade to a country where such mechanical 
operations were a commonplace of industry. An advertise- 
ment in the Maryland Gazette for August 1 2, 1 762, gives us 
another example of this particular inconvenience that the 
American printer was compelled to undergo. "Last month," 
Jonas Green announced, "we received by the ship Eagle, from 
London, a very good and compleat New Printing Press, made 
by Mr. Davenport, this week's Gazette being her first work; 
the old one is now almost worn out with Age, and hard labour 

[ 82 ] 

The Colonial Printing Press 

in the Public Service." Green had a job of great importance 
and size before him at this time. Earlier in the summer he 
had obtained from London several new fonts of Caslon type, 
and with the aid of these and of the new press he was able to 
make Bacon's Laws of Maryland, finished in 1765, one of 
the small group of notably fine typographical productions of 
colonial America. 

A change in the American printer's procedure was about to 
take place. The year 1769 saw not only the first American 
type cast by Abel Buell of Connecticut, but as well witnessed 
the making of the first press ordered by an American printer 
from an American craftsman. The bookmen of Connecticut 
may recall with satisfaction that the type in question was 
cast at Killingworth, and that a few months later the press 
was built at New Haven. An item in the Massachusetts Ga- 
zette and Boston Weekly News-Letter of September 7 tells 
us that "Mr. Isaac Doolittle, Clock & Watch-maker, of New- 
Haven, has lately compleated a Mahogany Printing-Press 
on the most approved Construction, which, by some good 
Judges in the Printing Way, is allowed to be the neatest 
ever made in America and equal, if not superior, to any im- 
ported from Great-Britain: This Press, we are told, is for 
Mr. William Goddard, of Philadelphia, Printer." The truth 
of this announcement, made in the interests of the non-impor- 
tation policy, was confirmed a few months later when God- 
dard advertised that he had recently purchased "an elegant 
Mahogany Press, made by an ingenious watchmaker, at New 
Haven." 9 The phrase employed in the announcement of Doo- 
little's achievement, "the neatest ever made in America," 
seems to indicate a previous activity in press building in this 
country, but whether there existed such an activity beyond 
the occasional building of presses for their own use by Sower 

[ 83 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

and other ingenious printers, it is difficult to determine. All 
that can be said in regard to this question is that the building 
of a press for William Goddard of Philadelphia by Isaac 
Doolittle of New Haven in September, 1769, is the begin- 
ning, so far as the known facts show, of press building as an 
industry in English America. 

It is clear that soon after this event the building of print- 
ing presses became general throughout the country. In 1775? 
presses were being manufactured in Philadelphia and in Hart- 
ford, and soon afterwards in various American cities. In Story 
& Humphreys's Pennsylvania Mercury for April 7, 1775? ap- 
pears an advertisement in which John Willis, cabinet- and 
chair-maker, and Henry Vogt, white- and blacksmith, an- 
nounce that in addition to their other business they propose 
"to execute any orders" for printing presses, cases, frames, 
screws, chases, composing sticks, etc. "Specimens of our work," 
they conclude, "may be seen at the printing offices of Alex- 
ander Purdie, Esq., Williamsburg, Virginia; Mr. Aitken, Mr. 
Bell; and the Printers of this paper, &c. in Philadelphia." In 
an obituary notice in the Gazette of the State of South Caro- 
lina for June 24, 1778, Peter Timothy of Charleston referred 
to his partner, Nicholas Boden,"to whose Industry and Skill" 
he owed "the Building of the first Carolina Printing Press." 
A notice in the first issue of the Fayetteville Gazette, North 
Carolina, August 24, 1789, informs readers that the press 
upon which the paper was printed had been manufactured 
locally by Messrs. Burkloe & Mears. On January 6, 1792, 
the American Apollo of Boston announced that its current 
issue had been printed on "the first complete Printing-Press 
ever made in this town — the wood-work was made by Mr. 
Berry, and the iron-work by Mr. McClench." One may in- 
terrupt the narrative for a moment at this point to admire the 

[ 84 ] 

The Colonial Printing Press 

appropriateness of the name "McClench" for a worker in 
iron, a vigorous, gripping name that calls up a vision of the 
pincers, the vise, and the wrench. In the New Jersey Journal 
(Elizabethtown) for June l, 1796, "John Hamilton, Print- 
ing Press Maker" inserted an advertisement, dated April 19, 
in which he affirmed that he had supplied many New Jersey 
and New York printers with presses of a very good quality 
that he could make for others on three weeks' notice at a cost 
of seventy-five dollars each. 

Ramage and Clymer Presses -The New Era 

Instances have been cited here in sufficient number to make 
it clear that after the year 1775, the American printer need 
no longer be vexed by the inconvenience of sending to Eng- 
land to secure a new printing press. It is likely that these 
presses of local make continued to follow the lines of the "old 
fashioned" machines with which the shops were already 
equipped, for we hear of no improvement in the mechanism 
of the press until, at the very close of the century, the Ram- 
age press came to the attention of the trade.The name of Adam 
Ramage appears in the Philadelphia City Directory for the 
first time in the year 1800, and in this year his name is found 
for the first time also in the accounts of Matthew Carey. It 
was not until after the beginning of the new century, about 
the year 1 807, that he began improving his finely built presses 
by enlarging the diameter of the screw to such an extent as to 
double the impressing power of the platen, though the new 
development decreased somewhat the speed of operation. It 
is said that the change was rendered necessary by the hair- 
line types that began, following their adoption by Didot and 
Bodoni, to come into use in the early years of the century. At 

[ 85 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

some period of his career Ramage provided his wooden press 
with springs that returned the bar to rest and raised the 
platen above the carriage after each impression. In the earlier 
presses, even in those of the Blaeu variety, the raising of the 
platen and the return of the bar seem to have been accom- 
plished by what Ronald B. McKerrow describes as the "natu- 
ral spring of the bar, aided by the compression of the packing 
in the tympan." Ramage's wooden press improvements were 
only a small part of his achievement. His numerous inven- 
tions for the improvement of the iron press established his 
fame as one of the great press builders of the first half of the 
nineteenth century. 10 

Curiously, William McCulloch, the Philadelphia printer 
who, anticipating a second edition of tht'History of Printing, 
supplied Isaiah Thomas with copious notes on the Pennsyl- 
vania printers and their associated craftsmen, has nothing to 
say about Adam Ramage in his brief account of Philadelphia 
press builders. He mentions George Clymer, who, about the 
year 1807, invented the Columbian Iron Press, but only to 
say that the invention was so little known to him, in 1815, 
that he could not give a description of its principles. It is 
almost certain that it was years after 1800 before either the 
Ramage or the Clymer presses became effective agencies in 
the life of the American printer. We may think of the printer 
of the colonial period as working with a press that was better 
constructed than the printing machine of the early sixteenth 
century, but which differed from it in no sense in mechanical 
principles, and very little in the amount of labor required for 
its operation. 11 

[ 86 ] 


Type and Type Founding of the 
Colonial Period 

The English Background 

IN the year 1637, a Star Chamber Decree prescribed that 
only four persons in England should be allowed to main- 
tain letter foundries at any one time, and the activity of 
these foundries was limited by a further prescription as to the 
number of apprentices that each might employ. 1 Although 
these inhibitions were removed and reimposed several times 
before the final expiration of the press restriction act in 1693, 
there does not seem to have been any great increase in the 
number of English foundries either during those periods 
when the law was inoperative or in the century following its 
repeal. "Notwithstanding this liberty," Reed writes, "the 
number of founders during the eighteenth century appears 
rarely to have exceeded the figure prescribed by the Star 
Chamber Decree of 1637, and occasionally to have been less." 
The consequence of this repression of the craft of letter 
founding was the inevitable stagnation and dearth of ideas 
that ensues in any trade wherein is lack of competition. Dur- 
ing the first quarter of the seventeenth century, the chief 
foundries were those conducted by the Andrews and James 
families, and even when enriched by type cast from matrices 
procured from Holland, the normal product of these estab- 
lishments was exceedingly poor. The English printers cus- 
tomarily purchased a great deal of type directly from the 
Dutch foundries, and Reed asserts that "There was probably- 
more Dutch type in England between 1700 and 1720 than 
there was English." The irregularities of casting, the infelici- 

[ 87 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ties of design that appear in the types employed by the Amer- 
ican printer in the first half of the century, are not therefore 
to be considered as evidence of provincialism or of poverty, 
for these defects are to be noticed in the letters used in many 
of the more elaborate productions of his English contempo- 
rary. Before they were able to effect a notable change in the 
appearance of the pages they printed, both the English and 
the American printer perforce had to wait until the second 
quarter of the century was drawing to its close and the letters 
cast by William Caslon had displaced the inferior type which 
filled their cases. (Plate vm.) 

The Effect of Caslon on Colonial Printing. 

In this country, as in England, it is likely that much Dutch 
type was used. There exist, for example, many issues of the 
press in the decade from 1730 to 1740 in the printing of 
which there was employed a face distinctly better than the 
common, yet lacking the regularity and distinction of Cas- 
lon's letters. Whether these were from a Dutch foundry or 
whether they were simply new types from an English house 
is a question that might well engage the spare moments of 
an expert in the refinements of design. It would be an inter- 
esting, but not an important, subject for investigation to de- 
termine when and by whom Caslon's fonts were first used in 
America — interesting, because the Caslon faces impressed 
their individuality on the issues of the printing offices of this 
country so deeply that to many of us a colonial book means, 
at first hearing, a book printed in Caslon type, with the fa- 
miliar typographical flowers and factotum initials forming 
a severe but fitting ornamentation to the text. It was only in 
the second half of the century, however, that the use of the 

[ 88 ] 



20 Therefore his people unto them 
have hither turned in, 
and waters out of a full cup 
wrung out to them have been, 
xi And they have fayd, how can it be 
that God this thing fhouldknow, 
& is there in the higheft one 
knowledge hereof alfo? 
12 Loe, thefe are the ungodly ones 
who have tranquillity: 
within the world they doe increase 
in rich ability* 
u Surely in vaine in purity 

cleanfed my heart have I. 
i4 And hands in innocence have wafhr, 
for plagu'd am I day W: 
And every morning chaucoed. 

15 If I think thus to fay, 
thy childrens generation 

loe then I (hould betray^ 

16 And when this poynt to underftand 

cafting 1 did devife, 
the matter too laborious 
appeared in mine eyes. 

17 Vnrill unto the fanctuary 

of God I went, £c then 
I prudently did underftand 
the laft end of ihefe men. 


18 Surely in places flippcry 

R J thefe 

Plate VIII 

Type and Type Founding 

new faces became general in America, for although Caslon 
began cutting his punches in 1720, and although from 1724 
onward his fonts were in use by some of the great London 
-printers, yet it was only in 1734 that he issued his first speci- 
men sheet, and after this event that there began the slow 
process of penetration by which his letters found their way 
into the cases of the English provincial offices. The investi- 
gator is not likely to meet much Caslon type in American 
books of a date earlier than 1 740, but when in his search he 
opens a page composed in the new letter, after turning over 
many printed in an inferior face, he realizes the meaning of 
the phrase, "friendly to the eye," that Mr. Updike's quota- 
tion, pleasantly reiterated, has made familiar to us. (Plate 


The fact that Caslon's faces had great vogue in American 
colonial offices after 1750 does not mean that only type from 
his foundry was used during the second half of the century, 
for Caslon's Care in the details of cutting and casting revived 
in the British Isles the forgotten skill of the craft, and before 
long other foundries in London and in Glasgow were pro- 
ducing letters very much like his in appearance and quite as 
serviceable in the forms. It is not to be doubted that some of 
these new faces, especially those of Alexander Wilson of 
Glasgow, were purchased by American houses, 2 so that those 
of us who have always thought of "Caslon" and "colonial" 
as synonymous terms in the description of letter-press print- 
ing must learn, if we wish to speak with authority, to dis- 
tinguish with greater nicety the characteristic designs of the 
different British founders. 

[ 89 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
The Cost of Type 

The printer of colonial America reckoned as one of the 
recurrent difficulties of his trade the necessity of keeping re- 
plenished the three or four fonts of type that were essential 
to the conduct of his business. During the early years of his 
period, as has been intimated, even the English printer was 
not able to secure easily new fonts of letters or even the 
necessary "sorts," and later, when the Caslon, the Wilson, 
the Martin, and other foundries were turning out excellent 
type in quantity, the cost of the fonts and of their transporta- 
tion was a serious item in the calculations of the distant 
American craftsman. Franklin's bill from Caslon for a font of 
brevier for newspaper use was £57 17J. 6d. ; the lesser printer 
sufficiently ambitious to make similar purchases must have 
writhed in spirit at the thought of laying out every few years 
hard money to this amount. 3 It was a happy day, therefore, 
when the American printer saw that type founding had be- 
come a settled industry in his country, and the fumbling ef- 
forts of the first founders towards this achievement must have 
been watched anxiously by the craft. Until the year 1775, 
however, only a small degree of success could be boasted of 
by the native founder, but, awaiting happier results, the 
printer could feel always that there was hope, and that, in 
the meantime, the quality and the conditions of supply of 
the imported faces were steadily improving. 

Type Sizes Available 

There occurred during the period of the colonial printer's 
activity a noteworthy increase in the number of type sizes 
available for his use. In the table shown below is repeated 

[ 9° ] 


I— I 




Type and Type Founding 

Luckombe's comparison, made in 1770, of the type faces 
possessed by a well-established English printer in Moxon's 
day, roughly the period of the introduction of printing in 
the colonies, with the fonts that might be employed by his 
own contemporaries. 4 

Moxon's List, 1683 
French Canon 
Two Lines English 
Double Pica 
Great Primer 

Long Primer 

Small Pica ( not recomendcd by 

Moxon because of its likeness 

to Pica) 

Luckombe's List, 17 JO 
French Canon 
Two Lines Double Pica 
Two Lines Great Primer 
Two Lines English 
Two Lines Pica 
Double Pica 
Great Primer 

Small Pica 
Long Primer 

If we turn now to a comparison of the cases of the Amer- 
ican printers of the two periods under consideration, we shall 
find that they, too, had taken advantage of the more greatly 
varied output of the eighteenth-century British foundries. 
Isaiah Thomas says that after the original Cambridge press 
materials had been added to by types sent out by the Corpo- 
ration in 1659 for the printing of the Indian Bible, the cases 
contained the following sizes of roman letter, only three less 
in number, it will be recognized, than were employed by a 
well-equipped printer in the London shops of relatively the 
same period : 

[ 91 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Cambridge Press, 1663 

Double Pica 
Great Primer 

Small Pica 
Long Primer 

In several inventories of American printing equipment 
drawn up about the year 1770, there are named, all told, 
fourteen sizes of types. 5 It is important to remember, how- 
ever, that none of these inventories contained all of the sizes 
that make up the whole. For the convenience of those to 
whom the old names are meaningless, the closest modern 
equivalents, according to the American point system, are 
given in the following table : 

American Presses, circa 1770 

Old name 

Modern equivalent according 

to the point system 

12 Line Pica } 

f 12 or 8 times the size of a 12 point 

8 Line Pica \ 

\ body 

French Canon 

48 point 

Great Primer Canon or Two Line 

Great Primer 

36 point 

Double English 

28 point 

Double Pica 

24 point 

Great Primer 

18 point 


14 point 


12 point 

Small Pica 

1 1 point 

Long Primer 

10 point 


9 point 


8 point 


6 point 

From these lists we learn that the English printer between 
the years 1683 and 1770 was benefited by an increase from 
eleven to seventeen in the number of type sizes available for 
his use, and that in the same period the American cases showed 

[ 92 ] 

P I E T A S 

E T 






Plate X 

Type and Type Founding 

an increase of six sizes over the eight which were found in the 
Cambridge press. Two of these new sizes in the American 
cases, the twelve and the eight line pica, were simply multiples 
of the pica size, used for titles and display and found in only 
one inventory, so that the increase to be taken account of was 
really of four sizes only — the French canon, two line great 
primer, double English, and bourgeois. Unquestionably it 
was poverty rather than lack of occasion for the use of the 
newer letters that compelled the American printer to content 
himself with only the essential sizes, dispensing with the 
paragon, the minion, and the pearl, which were procurable 
in this later period from the English foundries. 

In comparison with this table, it is interesting to turn to 
an article by Francis Hopkinson in Matthew Carey's Ameri- 
can Museum for May, 1787, dated July 31, 1786, in which 
it is suggested that in literary composition the several emo- 
tions of joy, earnestness, passion, and agitation be expressed 
by various sizes and faces of type. In setting this ingenious 
essay Carey made use of fourteen type sizes, of which twelve 
were in roman, one in italic, and one in black letter. He did 
not mention long primer and pica, but as he certainly pos- 
sessed these, we can think of him as having in his cases at 
least sixteen available sizes. Of sizes not in use in the earlier 
list given above, we find him using minion, nonpareil, and 
pearl, small types of great usefulness in modern times for 
notes and for matter to be set in compressed style. 

Such was the scarcity of type in this pioneer country that 
even when a printer had in his cases only small and worn 
fonts of half these size varieties, his type stood for a value 
in money equal to and often greater than the combined worth 
of all the other articles of his printing equipment. 

[ 93 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
The Learned Alphabets 

Isaiah Thomas says of the Cambridge press that its cases 
included a small amount of Greek and Hebrew letter. He- 
brew letter, indeed, was used in the Bay Psalm Book of 1640, 
and at least one word printed in Greek letter is found in a 
marginal note in Increase Mather's Wo to Drunkards, print- 
ed by Marmaduke Johnson in Cambridge, 1673. In this same 
year the Cambridge press of Samuel Green also made use of 
Greek and Hebrew letters in printing Urian Oakes's New- 
England Pleaded with. Such variety was rare in the colonial 
printing houses. 

In 1728, William Parks transliterated the Greek words 
on the title-page of Holdsworth's Muscipula, and as late as 
July 2, 1764, Jonas Green transliterated certain Greek words 
quoted in the Maryland Gazette, and in a note said : "Greek. 
But we have no Greek types." Three years before this time, 
though, J. Green & J. Russell, printers of Boston, were able 
to set a poem of several stanzas in Greek type in their Pietas 
et Gratulatio Collegii Cantabrigiensis, an excellently print- 
ed work, showing, I believe, the first extensive use of Greek 
letter by a colonial press. The influence of the university 
everywhere on the book trade of its period is so well under- 
stood that I hesitate to point to such an obvious evidence of 
it as is found in the circumstances here related. This influence 
sometimes brings about anomalous situations, as when, ac- 
cording to E. Ph. Goldschmidt in his Gothic and Renaissance 
Bookbindings, the principal fifteenth-century commercial 
binderies were located in the university towns of Europe 
rather than as neighbors to the great printing establishments, 
which normally sought the mercantile centers for their op- 
erations. It should be said that the Greek types employed in 

[ 94 ] 






• — < 


















































CI **■ 


aO G 
C O 

g .Si 


















r <d 











K 8. 





• »-« 
















& kT O .a 

_£ S> a ffi 

H H 








bJO — 

C as 











Type and Type Founding 

the Pietas et Gratulatio, a poem addressed by Harvard men 
of letters to George III on his accession, were not the prop- 
erty of Messrs. Green and Russell, the printers, but of the 
College, to which these and a font of Hebrew characters had 
been presented in 1726 by Thomas Hollis, of London, a per- 
sistent patron of the institution at Cambridge. This was the 
first and only use of the Greek f\ont, which was destroyed 
when the College Library was burned in 1764. 6 (Plate xi.) 

Type Founding and Politics 

Type making as an industry in the colonies had its rise in 
that period of the country's fortunes when the taxation policy 
of the British Ministry forced from the Americans the form 
of reprisal that defines itself in the term by which it was 
known ; that is, the term "non-importation." To say this does 
not mean that there existed a direct relationship of cause and 
effect between the non-importation agreements and the rise 
of the industry. Abel Buell, who initiated type casting in this 
country, was experimenting with his punches and moulds for 
a year or two before the non-importation action of 1769, and 
the second Christopher Sower, who began to cast German 
letter from imported matrices in 1770, customarily brought 
in his types from Germany, rather than from England, when 
he had need to replenish his fonts. It was a coincidence, per- 
haps, that the industry began to show its head in this critical 
time, but there can be little doubt that its subsequent growth 
was accelerated by the non-importation fervor of the decade 
preceding the Revolution. 

[ 95 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
Some General Considerations 

The practice of type founding in the western world goes 
back to the beginning of the typographic art in Mexico in 
the sixteenth century. In the year 1550, Juan Pablos, the first 
Mexican printer, contracted with Antonio de Espinosa of 
Seville, afterwards a printer of Mexico, to enter his shop in 
the capacity of type founder, and there is every reason to be- 
lieve that the agreement was carried out as intended. In the 
records of the Mexican Inquisition for the later years of the 
century appears evidence that among the printing craftsmen 
who succeeded Pablos and Espinosa were men skilled in the 
founding of type, and, furthermore, that the printers pos- 
sessed and used punches, matrices, moulds, and other tools 
and materials of type founding. This condition of affairs 
means that the Mexican printer of the sixteenth century was 
carrying on the tradition of the typographical establishments 
of Europe, where at this period type founding had not yet 
fully achieved identity as a separate industry. But gradually, 
at different times in different places, the type founder left 
the employment of the printer to set up a specialized busi- 
ness of his own, with the result that by the beginning of the 
seventeenth century it was recognized everywhere that a new 
and distinct industry had arisen. More than two centuries 
later, type founding returned to the printing house with the 
invention of the combined casting and composing machine, 
but throughout the American colonial period printers in all 
lands, having given over the practice of making their own 
letters, were entirely dependant upon the foundries for the 
renewal of their fonts. The nature of things made it impos- 
sible that this industry should thrive in any place except in or 
near great cities where its product would be in demand by 

[ 96 ] 

Type and Type Founding 

many printers, and neither in Mexico nor in English America 
could the business be supported by the few and scattered 
printers of the colonial period. The type founders remained in 
Europe, and the printers of America of the late seventeenth 
and the eighteenth century continued to import their letters at 
the cost of much money, delay, and difficulty. We first hear 
of a successful avoidance of this necessary procedure when 
Francisco Xavier de Ocampo, an engraver of the Mint, suc- 
cessfully cast a font of type for a Mexican printer in 1770. 
The birth of the industry in English America occurred at al- 
most the same moment. It is only as a matter of curious inter- 
est, not of significance, that, before taking up the story of 
type founding in English America, one refers to the fact that 
from 1705 to 1727 the Jesuit missionaries of Paraguay print- 
ed several books with type made of tin and, reputedly, cut 
and cast by the ingenuity and marvelous imitative skill of 
the Indians of their missions. 7 

The making by printers of single letters, or the casting of 
"sorts," to meet the emergencies of the job in hand is not to 
be regarded here as an aspect of that type-founding industry 
of which we are seeking the origins. Franklin relates that 
while putting Keimer's equipment in order at Philadelphia 
in 1727, or soon thereafter, he made matrices of lead, using 
old types as punches, and from these, in a mould of his own 
contrivance, cast successfully in lead such letters and sorts 
as were missing from the font. The elder Christopher Sower 
is said to have met the exigencies of his shop in a similar 
fashion. Not all printers were equally resourceful. As one of 
his reasons for failing to complete the Mohawk Book of 
Common Prayer in 1769, Weyman offered somewhat peev- 
ishly the excuse that his establishment did not have "the 
Command of a Letter Makers founding-House to suit our- 

[ 97 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

selves in ye particular Sorts required such as g's, k's, y's, &c, 
&c, . . ." When Hugh Gaine took over the printing of this 
book, however, it went forward without delay, but we do not 
know whether the needed sorts were cast in his shop or im- 
ported from London. 8 At any rate, this emergency casting 
of letters was an achievement well within the power of a 
cunning printing-shop craftsman, and as such it was a very 
different thing from the making of a font of type of sufficient 
size and quality to be used effectively in the printing of a 
book or newspaper. The Mexican font of Xavier de Ocampo 
seems indisputably to have been a complete, locally made 
font of letter, and in describing the origins of the industry in 
English America we shall be looking for founders who are 
cutting and casting fonts of the normal size and degree of 
completeness. So much is necessary by way of definition. 

The Beginnings of a New Craft in the 
Colonies — Abel Buell 

In the year 1768, a young Connecticut silversmith and 
lapidary, Abel Buell of Killingworth, began of his own inter- 
est in mechanical handicraft to make experiments in the cut- 
ting and casting of type. With his first letters he set a small 
advertisement, intended for newspaper publication, in which 
he announced that he had already entered upon the business 
of casting printing type. No appearance of this specimen in 
the columns of a newspaper has been found, but the stick of 
type containing the advertisement was sent to the Reverend 
Ezra Stiles of Newport by Buell's friend, Dr. Benjamin Gale 
of Killingworth. The proof that Dr. Stiles caused to be taken 
from this little square of type was hailed by Gale as "the 

[ 98 ] 

of Killingworth in Connecticut, lew- 
el ler and Lapidary, begs leave to ac- 
quaint the Public, and the Printers of 
the Several Colonies, that he hath di- 
scovered the art, and hath alreday en- 
tred upon the Bufinefs of founding Ty- 
pes, which as Soon as he can furnifti 
himfelf with Stock, will fell for the fa- 
me price at which they are purchafed 
in LONDON^ in which Bufinefs he ho- 
pes for the Encouragement of the pr- 
inters, and all American Patriots. 

Plate XII 

Type and Type Founding 

first Proof struck by American types." This precious bit of 
paper has disappeared, but we have still an almost equally 
interesting relic of the experiment. As soon as he had taken 
a proof from these types, Dr. Stiles transmitted them to Dr. 
Chauncy of Boston, who, "to gratify my own curiosity," as 
he wrote, in his turn asked Edes & Gill to take some proofs 
from the new letters. One of these proofs he sent to Dr. Stiles 
and it remains to this day with his letter dated May 8, 1769, 
among the Stiles Papers at Yale University. An examination 
of this first American type specimen (Plate xn) shows its let- 
ter to be pica, or twelve point in size, crudely cut and badly 
lined, but a letter of the first interest in the story of type- 
founding origins in the United States. 

Buell did not stop with this partial achievement. He set 
to work anew and produced a much more usable letter of 
the long primer, or ten point size. In October, 1769, he pre- 
sented to the Connecticut Assembly a petition for aid in the 
establishment of a foundry, printed in letters from his re- 
cently completed font. A copy of this document, printed 
in red ink, is in the Yale University Library. The original 
signed copy of Buell's memorable petition, shown here in 
facsimile, facing page 100, remains today in its proper place 
among the Assembly papers in the Connecticut State Libra- 
ry. (Plate xni.) 

The committee appointed to consider Buell's petition re- 
ported themselves satisfied that "he hath Discovered the Art 
of Letter Founding; & that he is capable of makeing Instru- 
ments necessary for the proper Apparatus of Letter Found- 
ing . . ." It was then recommended that upon giving bond, 
Buell should receive a loan of £100 from the Public Treas- 
ury "Conditioned that ... he pursue makeing the necessary 
Apparatus for Letter Founding, for the space of one year . . . 

[ 99 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

and doth not depart from this Colony to Inhabit elsewhere, 
within the space of seven years from the date of said Bond. 
. . . And in case said Buell pursues the business of makeing 
Materials for the purpose afores"? in a laudable manner for 
the space of one Year as afores*? that there be then paid out 
of the Publick Treasury unto s<? Buell one other £100 . . ." 
With certain modifications the Assembly adopted this report. 
The first £100 was loaned to Buell, who in the meantime had 
removed to New Haven, prepared to enter upon the business 
of type founding. 

Unhappily the fates were averse to Buell's success at this 
time. As I have told elsewhere, financial troubles and a gen- 
eral instability of purpose led him to engage for the next 
decade in many occupations, but among these type founding 
was not numbered. It was only in 1781 that he applied him- 
self to the task of supplying Thomas and Samuel Green, of 
New Haven, and Timothy Green, of New London, with type 
of his own making, which, though poor enough, was yet more 
readable than the worn and battered letters that the war- 
time stringency had compelled most American printers to 
keep in their cases. There is only circumstantial evidence and 
the best tradition that this type, recognizable in the publi- 
cations of several Connecticut printers, was made by Abel 
Buell. The question will not be argued here, for by the time 
this use of Buell's letter occurred, type making had become 
an accomplished fact in other parts of the United States. His 
type of 1781 has become of interest, therefore, only to those 
who are interested in its maker. One may claim for Buell, 
though, that the initiation of type founding as a separate in- 
dustry in English America must be attributed to him even 
though he failed of complete achievement in establishing the 
new manufacture. 9 

[ 100 ] 




Type and Type Founding 

It becomes necessary at this point "to labour a distinc- 
tion," as the old writers would say, between type cast in 
America from imported matrices and type cast here from 
matrices for which the punches had been cut by native or resi- 
dent artisans. I believe that when the Connecticut Commit- 
tee which recommended the loan to Buell specified that he 
should occupy himself for a year in "makeing the necessary 
Apparatus for Letter Founding," they meant that he should 
cut punches and make matrices for various fonts during this 
period. They had previously convinced themselves that he 
was "Capable of makeing Instruments necessary for the 
proper Apparatus of Letter Founding," and I interpret their 
words as meaning that Buell had mastered and proposed to 
practise all the processes of the art. Until someone should 
have attained this comprehensive mastery, the industry could 
not be considered as begun. So far as Buell is concerned, it 
does not seem likely that Gale and Stiles and Chauncy and 
the Connecticut legislature, all keen advocates of native in- 
dustries, would have shown such eagerness in forwarding his 
efforts if he had simply acquired a set of imported moulds 
and matrices and taught himself the mechanical process of 
pouring the molten metal and ejecting the finished letter. An 
examination of his product, furthermore, indicates clearly 
that the designing and the cutting of the letter was the work 
of a prentice hand, and although Xavier de Ocampo, who 
made the type for the Mexican book of 1770, was less of a 
prentice hand than Buell in these respects, his product, too, 
indicates a lack of complete mastery in the making of punches 
and matrices. These two founders, one feels, practised all the 
processes of type manufacture. 

We have seen that Franklin in his youth was capable of 
casting sorts by a rough and ready method, and we know that 

[ 10. ] 

The Colonial Printer 

late in life, in the year 1785, with an equipment purchased in 
France, he set up his grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache as 
a type founder in Philadelphia. In the intermediate years he 
seems to have proposed for himself a similar venture. Writ- 
ing to William Strahan on July 4, 1744, he says, "I am much 
obliged to you for your care and pains in procuring me the 
founding tools; though I think, with you, that the workmen 
have not been at all bashful in making their bills." This ref- 
erence to what we may suppose was a set of type-founding 
tools is the only suggestion met with that Franklin intended, 
at any time in his earlier life, to set up the business of letter 
casting in America. If he succeeded in his project it must 
have been in slight degree, for we find him continuing to 
order type from England for himself and for others. At any 
rate, based on the possession of foreign-made implements, the 
effort could not be considered as the beginning of a native 
American industry in the sense that the phrase is used in this 
narrative of origins. 10 With this distinction in mind, we are 
able to pass to the consideration of other attempts at the 
establishment of a type-founding industry in English Amer- 

David Mitchelson and the Mein & 
Fleeming Type 

A month or so before Buell presented his petition to the 
Connecticut Assembly there appeared in the Massachuetts 
Gazette for September 7, 1769, the announcement that Mr. 
Abel Buell of Killingworth had made himself master of the 
art of founding type for printing. The writer of this article 
on American industries went on with the information that 
"Printing types are also made by Mr. Mitchelson of this 

[ 102 ] 







Boflon New-England. 


MEIN and FLEEMING's Printing Types. 

Rempublicam, Quirites, vi- 
tamque omnium veftrum, bo- 
na, fortunas, conjuges, libe- 
rofque veftros, atque hoc do- 
micilium clariffimi imperii, 
fortunatiffimam pulcherrim- 
amque urbem hodierno die, 
deorum immortalium fumino 
erga vos amore, laboribus, 
conciliis, pericnlis meis, ex 
flamma atque ferro, ac pae- 

REMPUBLICAM, Quirites, vitam- 
que omnium veftrum, bona, fortunas, 
conjuges, liberofque veftros, atque 
hoc domicilium clarililmi imperii, 
fbrtunatHfirnampulcherrimamque ur- 
bem hodiernr. die, deorum immorta- 
lium fummo erga vos amore, labori- 
bus, conciliis, periculis meis, ex flam- 
ma atque ferro, ac paene ex faucibus 
fati ereptam, ac vobis c'onfervatam 
ac reftitutam videtis. Et fi non mi- 

Rempublicam, Quirites, vitamque om- 
nium veftrum, bona, fortunas, conjuges, 
liberofque veftros, atque hoc domicilium 
claritfinii imperii, fortunatiftimam pul- 
cherrimamque urbem hodierno die, deo- 
rum immortalium fummo erga vos, a- 
more, laboribiis conciliis periculis meis, 
ex flamma atque ferro, ac paene ex fau- 
cibus fati ereptam, ac vobis conferva- 
tam ac reftitutam videtis. Et ft non 

Rempublicam, Quirites, vitamque omnium, 
Veftmm, bona, fortunas, conjuges, liberof- 
que veftros, atque hoc domicilium clariffimi 
imperii, fortunatiftimam pulclierrimanique 
urbem hodierno die, deorum immortalium. 
fummo erga vos amore, laboribus, conciliis, 
periculis meis, ex flamma atque ferro, ac 
paene ex faucibus fati ereptam, ac vobis con- 
fervatam ac reftitutam videtis. Et fi non mi- 
nus nobis jucundi atque illuftres, funt ii dies, 
quibus confervamur, quam illi quibus nafci- 
mur: quod falutis certa letitia eft, nafcendi 
incerto conditio: et quod fine fenfu nafci- 
innr, cum voluptate fcrvamur : profecfro, 
quoniam ilium, qui banc urbem condidit, 
ad deos immortales benevolentia famaque 
fuftulimus : efle apud vos pofterofque veftros 
in honore debebit isj qtu eandem banc ur* 

Rempublicam Quirites vitamque omnium veftrum, 
bona, fortunas, conjuges, liberofque veftros, atque 
hoc domicilium clarililmi imperii, fortunatiftimam 
pulcherimamque urbem hodierno die, deorum im» 
mortalium fummo erga vos amore, laboribus, con- 
ciliis, periculis meis, ex flamma atque ferro, ae 
paene ex faucibus fati ereptam, ac vobis c onferva- 

jucundi atque illuftres, font ii dies, quibus confer- 
vamur, quam ilii quibus nafciraur : quod ialutif 
certa letitia eft, nafcendi incerto conditio : et quod 
fine fenfu nalcimur, cum voluptate fervamur : pro- 
fee}©, quoniam ilium, qui banc urbem condidit, ad 
deos immortales benevolentia famaque fuftulimus : 
efte apud vos pofterofque veftros in honore debebit 
is, qui eandem hanc urbem conditam amplificatam- 
que fervavit, nam tod urbi, templis, delubris, tec* 

Rempublicam, Quirites, vitamque omnium veftrum bona, fortnmu, con- 
juges, liberofque veftros, atque hot domicilium clariflimi imperii, fortuoa- 
tiiTimam pulchcrrimamque urbem hodierno del, deorum immortalium fum* 
mo erga vos amore, laboribus. conciliis. periculis meis, ex flamma atque 
ferro, ac paene ex faucibus fati ereptam ac vobis confervatam ac reltitutani 
videtis. Et 1 non minus nobus jucundi atque illuftres funt ii dies, quibus 
lonfervamur, quam illi, quibus rufcimur: quod falutis certa letitia eft> 
nafcendi incens conditio: et quod fine fenfu nafciraur, cum voluptate 
fervamur : profefto, quoniam ilium, qui banc urbem condidit, sd deos 
immortales benevolentia famaque fuftulimus t effe apud vos pofterofqua 
veftros in honore debebit is, qui eandem hanc urbem conditam ampliricatam- 
que fervavit. Nam toil urbi. templis. delubris, teetisac mot tubus omnibus 
r ubjeclos prope jam ignes cucumdatofquc reft inximus : iidemque gladios 
in rempub. deftritlos retudimus, mucronufque eorum a jugnlis veftrUde- 
jeeimus. Qjiae quoniam In fenatu illoftrau, patefacca. compertique font 

Id-aVTEIN and FLEEMING execute all forts of PRINTING WORK in the belt 

and raoft reafonable manner, and with the utmoft expedition. 

Plate XIV 

Type and Type Founding 

Town [Boston], equal to any imported from Great-Britain; 
and might by proper Encouragement soon be able to furnish 
all the Printers in America at the same Price they are sold in 
England." It has been supposed that David Mitchelson, 
working for the printing firm of Mein & Fleeming, of Boston, 
cast the anachronistic "modern" face that appeared after 1766 
in the publications of this firm, but the more extended the in- 
vestigation into the claim for Mitchelson as an American type 
founder, the greater becomes the conviction that its evidence 
rests solely upon the newspaper paragraph that has been quot- 
ed. The so-called specimen sheet shown in Plate xiv is, it seems 
clear, a printer's advertisement rather than a type founder's 
specimen. But in entering a counter to the claim made for 
Mitchelson, one need not be dogmatic. Confirming evidence 
may yet be found of the truth of that newspaper reference to 
his activities. The fact that John Mein, of Mein & Fleeming, 
was engaged in 1769 in type-casting researches of such a na- 
ture as to cause alarm to Abel Buell and his alert patrons 11 
seems to indicate that the firm with which Mitchelson is said 
to have been connected was taking advantage of his knowl- 
edge of processes to establish at this time a foundry for the 
casting of type. 

Sower and his German Letters 

The next venture in type founding in English America 
that must be taken account of occurred in Germantown, 
Pennsylvania, about the year 1770. At this time the second 
Christopher Sower was making plans for the issue of a third 
American edition of the work that had been notably pro- 
duced for the first time by his father in 1743; that is, the 
Bible in the German language and letter. Weary of the 

[ 103 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

difficulties of importing type from Germany, he conceived 
the project of casting in his own establishment enough letter 
to keep standing the entire work, and to this end he placed 
a set of imported matrices and moulds in the hands of his 
journeyman Justus Fox, and laid upon him the responsibility 
of casting the vast quantity of fraktur necessary for his pur- 
pose. The first fruit of his intention is found mEin Geistliches 
Magazicn, a religious periodical that was issued more or less 
regularly by Sower during the years 1764 to 1772. Number 
12, Part II, of this magazine, issued late in 1771 or early in 
1772, was printed from newly cast type, and it bore a colo- 
phon that described the foregoing letter press as "Gedruckt 
mit der ersten Schrift die jemals in America gegossen wor- 
den." The exact date of this publication is of secondary inter- 
est in this discussion for the reason that we have here a letter 
cast from imported matrices, and therefore, according to the 
distinction that has been insisted upon, not a type of Amer- 
ican manufacture. Sower's venture in type founding is never- 
theless important in our story because it gave his journey- 
men, Justus Fox and Jacob Bay, the opportunity and the in- 
centive to learn the more intricate fundamental processes of 
an art in which they soon went on to proficiency. 

The First Work with American Types — 
Jacob Bay and Justus Fox 

In April, 1772, Sower employed Jacob Bay, a newly ar- 
rived Swiss silk weaver, to assist Justus Fox in the work of 
casting type for the great Bible. After two years' service, Bay 
left Fox and set up for himself as a type founder near by in 
Germantown. It is recorded by William McCulloch that 

[ 104 ] 

Type and Type Founding 

hereupon Bay "cast a number of fonts, cutting all the punch- 
es, and making all the apparatus pertaining thereto, himself, 
for Roman Bourgeois, Long Primer, etc." Fox remained in 
Sower's employ where, in addition to his routine of casting 
fraktur for the great Bible of 1776, he cut and cast a certain 
amount of roman letter on his own initiative. 

The tradition as to these activities preserved for us by 
William McCulloch seems to stand the test of independent 
investigation. On January 23, 1775, in one of the non-impor- 
tation resolutions of the Pennsylvania Convention, it was 
"Resolved unanimously, that as printing types are now made 
to a considerable degree of perfection by an ingenious artist 
in Germantown; it is recommended to the printers, to use 
such types in preference to any which may be hereafter im- 
ported." Even at the time of the passage of this resolution, 
McCulloch assures us, Fox and Bay each claimed the honor 
implicit in its terms. If uncertainty existed to this degree 
contemporaneously with the action, how shall we resolve it 

This much is certain, though. Native-made type was being 
manufactured in quantity in Germantown in the year 1775, 
and on April 7 of that year appeared the first number of 
Story <5> Humphreys 's Pennsylvania Mercury, wherein the 
publishers addressed their readers in a short article that must 
be regarded as one of the fundamental documents in the his- 
tory of American type founding. It is shown on Plate xv in a 
photographic reproduction from the copy of this newspaper 
preserved in the Harvard College Library. 

A month or so after the publication of this announcement, 
when Ezra Stiles had occasion to transcribe in his diary a 
passage from the Story & Humphreys newspaper, he added 
the following note : "Extracted from the Pennsylva Mer- 

[ 105 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

cury, whose first No was pub. the 7th of April last : printed 
with types of American Manufacture. The first Work with 
Amer. Types: tho' Types were made at N. Haven . . . years 
ago." For the reason that Dr. Stiles was one of the earliest 
patrons of Abel Buell's type-founding venture and, as well, 
a person possessing real perception of the importance of 
American industries, his observation on the subject of type- 
founding priority carries a certain amount of weight, though 
he could not be expected to speak inerrantly on this or on any 
other matter. If, however, he meant by the comment which 
has been quoted that the Pennsylvania Mercury was the first 
published work known to him printed in roman letter cut and 
cast in English America, we can only say that his informa- 
tion was as full on this point as any that we possess in a time 
of vastly better opportunity for a full survey of the possi- 

The types that the publishers of the Mercury spoke of in 
their announcement as examples of the "rustic manufactures" 
of America deserved more than this damnation by faint 
praise. The important thing was, and this the publishers ap- 
preciated, that American-made letters were there to be spoken 
of at all. Even so, more might have been said of their physi- 
cal form, for, though far from perfect in detail, they com- 
posed agreeably enough in the page, and taken individually, 
they showed that the tradition of the craft had been under- 
stood and carried on by these rural practitioners. One would 
give something to possess a copy of The Impenetrable Secret, 
that book which was advertised in the Mercury for June 23, 
1775, as "Just Published and Printed with Types, Paper and 
Ink, Manufactured in this Province." Here, doubtless, was 
the first completely American book, and, strangely enough, 
no copy of it seems to have been preserved. 

[ 106 ] 

THE PRINTERS beg leave to acquaint their 
Subfcribers and the Public, that the Types with 
which this Paper is printed are of American manu- 
facture, and mould it by this means fail of giving fuch 
entire fatisfaflion to the judicious and accurate eye, 
they hope every patriotic allowance will be made in 
its favour, and that an attempt to introduce fo valuable 
an art into thefe colonies, will meet with an indulgent 

countenance from every lover of his country. We 

are fenfible, that in point of elegance, they are fome- 
what inferior to thofe imported from England, but we 
flatter ourfelves that the ruftic manufactures of Ameri- 
ca will prove more grateful to the patriot eye, than the 
more finimed productions of Europe, efpecially when 
we confider that whilft you tolerate the unpolifhed fi- 
gure of the firft attempt, the work will be growing to 
perfection by the experience of the ingenious artift, 
who has furnifhed us with this fpecimen of his fkill, and 
we hope the paper will not prove lefs acceptable to our 
Teaders, for giving him this encouragement 

We beg leave further to obferve, that as one of the 
eaftern mails is now difpatched from Bofton, in fuch 
time as to arrive here on Thurfday (infteadof Saturday 
as formerly) we have judg'd it expedient to change our 
day of publication to Friday, by which alteration we 
expecT: to have an opportunity of furnifhing the raoft 
early intelligence from that interefting quarter. We 
truft this will be a furhcient apology for making that 
only deviation from the aflurances given the public in 
our propofals, nor will any other alteration be admit- 
ted unlefs manifeftly tending to the advantage and en- 
tertainment of our Subfcribers. — We return thanks to 
thofe gentlemen in this and the neighbouring provinces, 
-who have kindly countenanced our intentions, and o- 
bligingly aflifted us by taking infubfcriptions, &c for 
the Pennsylvania Mercury and Universal Ad- 
vertiser, and would beg them ftill to continue fuch 
their friendly offices, and thofe who have not yet fent 
us their lifts of fubfcribers names will pleafe to tranfmit 
them and the Papers fhall be immediately forwarded. 

Plate XV 

Type and Type Founding 

In the absence of exact knowledge, it seems a futile effort 
to attempt the attribution of the Mercury type to one or an- 
other of its probable makers. That is was cast by Bay or by 
Fox it is reasonably fair to assume, for there remains no trace 
of any other founder in the neighborhood of Philadelphia in 
the years from 1772 to 1775. Even though he is said to have 
been making roman type at this time, Fox must still have 
been busily employed in casting fraktur for Sower's Bible. 
Bay, on the other hand, was at work as early as 1774 in his 
own foundry, occupied with his own devices. The letter that 
was used in the Mercury was superior in execution to a let- 
ter of the same size and face used six years later in the in- 
dex of the McKean edition of the Acts of the Pennsylvania 
Assembly, a book for which Fox is said to have made the 
type. If, therefore, one is inclined to award to Jacob Bay the 
distinction of having cast the letter for the "first Work with 
American Types," one must be quick to admit that because 
of the tenuity of the antecedent reasoning no wreath of 
laurel ever rested more precariously on victor's head. 

What is of especial interest in this matter is that the efforts 
of these two founders did not cease with the production of a 
few fonts of type. At the sale of the Sower establishment in 
1778 each of them purchased certain of the type-founding 
tools and materials of his former master, and one learns from 
McCulloch of various fonts that Fox and Bay produced in 
the next few years. The most important of the fonts cast by 
Fox seems to have been that employed in a book previously 
mentioned, the Acts of the Pennsylvania Assembly, printed 
by Francis Bailey in 1782. One finds the type in which the 
text of this book is printed to be a sturdy, well-designed, dis- 
tinctive letter, a creditable enough work from the hand of a 
self-taught artist. In the year 1794, he found time in the 

[ 107 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

midst of his ink-making activities to cast some sorts for Mat- 
thew Carey, and he continued the business of type founding 
to some extent until his death in the year 1805, when his 
equipment was sold to Samuel Sower of Baltimore. Jacob 
Bay, too, is known to have cut fonts of type for various print- 
ers before he sold his materials in 1792 to Francis Bailey, 
formerly one of the chief patrons of his foundry. It is said 
that he cast the type used in Bailey's newspaper, The Free- 
man's Journal, and that he cast a font of pica for Dunlap; 
it is known with certainty that he was selling type to Mat- 
thew Carey in 1785. McCulloch tells us many of these de- 
tails from his own recollection and others from information 
acquired by him from the lips of close relatives of Fox and 
Bay. He asserts that in 1814 he himself was using a quantity 
of Fox's type which he and his father before him had printed 
from for twenty-six years. When this printer mentioned to 
Binny that the letters cast by Fox excelled even his in wear- 
ing quality, the great founder replied tartly, and with the 
professional's scorn for the self-taught craftsman, that they 
were in the beginning so "devilish ugly," the longest use 
could not mar their deformity. 12 

Other Founders of the Eighteenth Century 

We have come now to the conclusion of the story of native 
American type-founding origins. When Archibald Binny 
came to America in the year 1795 he brought with him the 
knowledge and the tools that enabled him to establish the 
manufacture of type on a basis which soon made it one of the 
most successful and secure of American industries. Between 
the appearance in Philadelphia in 1775 of the first usable 
font of roman letter, and the coming of Binny to that city 

[ 108 ] 

Type and Type Founding 

twenty years later, there had emigrated to the United States 
several professional founders whose training served to dis- 
cipline the work of the native craftsmen and to prepare the 
way for the greater development that was soon to occur. 

The New Era— John Baine and 
Grandson in Co. 

The first and most important of these pre-Binny founders 
was John Baine, who, as "John Baine and Grandson in Co.," 
issued a specimen sheet in Edinburgh in 1787, and very soon 
afterwards, about 1789, transferred the business of the firm 
to Philadelphia. The elder Baine was by no means an obscure 
individual. As early as 1742, he had joined with Dr. Alex- 
ander Wilson and established a foundry for the purpose, say 
Bigmore & Wyman, "of improving the art of printing by a 
new stereotyping process." Their efforts in this direction fell 
so far short of success that the partners soon turned their at- 
tention to the work of casting letters in the ordinary way. The 
establishments they set up in St. Andrews and Glasgow were 
the earliest letter foundries of Scotland. The partnership was 
broken up about 1749, and for some years Baine remained in 
Ireland where he had previously gone on the business of the 
firm. Returning to Edinburgh he continued as typefounder 
part of the time in partnership with his grandson, until his re- 
moval thence to Philadelphia between 1787 and 1789. It is 
said that he was preceded to this country by the grandson, 
who brought with him a complete type-founding equipment. 
The coming of the Baines, mature and experienced crafts- 
men, marked the beginning of a new period in American type 
founding. The Baines must have worked with intense in- 

[ 109 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

dustry during the years before the death of the elder in 1790, 
for they soon established themselves as the leading American 
type founders. When Thomas Dobson, the Philadelphia 
printer, began in 1790 the serial publication of the American 
issue of the third Encyclopaedia Britannica, a monumental 
undertaking of eighteen volumes that took seven years to 
finish, it was to the Messrs. Baine that he turned for his type, 
and from them that he secured the excellent letter in which 
the great book was printed. In the same year that saw the 
beginning of this publication Matthew Carey brought out the 
first American edition of the Douay version of the Bible. In 
his List of Editions of the Holy Scriptures, printed in Amer- 
ica previous to i860, page xxviii, O'Callaghan cites an ad- 
vertisement on the cover of the A?nerican Museum for De- 
cember, 1789, in which it was affirmed that the type for 
Carey's Bible had been especially cast by the Baine foundry, 
and, corroborative of this, there is found in Carey's accounts 
a statement from John Baine & Co. for a large font of small 
pica supplied in the months of November and December, 
1789, and January, 1790. It is to be observed that Carey 
made no purchases from Bay and only a single purchase of a 
few sorts from Fox after his first dealings with the Baines in 

1789. 11 

In the absence of clear evidence, one hesitates to assert that 
there existed the relationship of cause and effect between 
Dobson's plans for reprinting the Encyclopaedia, or Carey's 
plans for printing a Douay Bible, and the coming to Phila- 
delphia of John Baine and his grandson. It may, indeed, have 
been coincidence that brought these competent founders to 
the city of the United States in which, just at that juncture, 
the Encyclopaedia, the largest American production until 
then undertaken, was being planned, but it would not be a 

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Type and Type Founding 

matter of great surprise to learn one day that Dobson, its 
publisher, or Carey, a publisher with several ambitious pro- 
jects in mind, or both these enterprising men, had sought out 
the Baines with the assurance of regular and remunerative 
employment in the event of their removal thither. In any case, 
their work (Plate xvi) was of a superior quality to anything 
previously done in the country, and from their coming dates 
type founding in the United States as a large-scale industry. 

Franklin and Benjamin Franklin Bache 

It could not be supposed that Franklin's interest in print- 
ing type would subside, even though there seems to have 
been no result in the form of new letters from the founding 
equipment he purchased from England in 1 744. During the 
stringency of the Revolution, on October 1 1, 1779, he wrote 
from Passy to one of his American correspondents, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Partridge : "I thank you for the Boston Newspa- 
pers, tho' I see nothing so clearly in them as that your Print- 
ers do indeed want new Letters. They perfectly blind me in 
endeavouring to read them. If you should ever have any 
Secrets that you wish to be well kept, get them printed in 
those Papers. You enquire if Printers Types may be had 
here ? Of all Sorts, very good, cheaper than in England, and 
of harder Metal. I will see any Orders executed in that way 
that any of your Friends may think fit to send. They will 
doubtless send Money with their Orders. Very good Printing 
Ink is likewise to be had here ..." A few years after this 
letter was written, Franklin took a more active step toward 
improvement of the types used in America when he prevailed 
upon Francois Ambroise Didot to take into the celebrated 
Didot foundry his grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, who 

[ in ] 

The Colonial Printer 

already possessed some knowledge of type casting from an 
earlier association with one of the Fourniers. In April, 1785, 
young Bache cut his first punch, and only a few months later, 
with a foundry purchased from Fournier of Paris, he and his 
grandfather returned to Philadelphia. The Bache foundry, 
as it came to be called, seems to have been conducted by 
Franklin himself until the grandson, as the old gentleman 
wrote, should take his degree and get clear of the college, but 
about the year 1787, the hopeful youth entered on his own 
behalf upon the career of printer and type founder. About 
the year 1790 he issued a specimen sheet in which were shown 
some of the types cast by him from his French matrices, but 
despite his exceptional advantages, Bache failed to attain 
success as a type founder. McCulloch tells us that he "soon 
relinquished that business for printing." With Baine and 
Bache added to the ranks of the native founders, however, 
the American type-casting industry had reached a respectable 
position at the beginning of the last decade of the eighteenth 
century. 14 

Adam Mappa of New York 

Hitherto the making of type in America had centered 
about Philadelphia, but, in 1789, Adam Mappa, 15 a Dutch 
founder, brought with him to New York, where he set up in 
business, an elaborate equipment upon which tradition has 
placed a valuation of £3500. For a few years he met with 
success. There appears the following interesting reference to 
the venture of the first New York type founder in the intro- 
duction to Thomas Greenleaf's edition of the Laws of the 
State of New York, published in 1792: 

"The Types and Paper were manufactured in this State — 

[ 112 ] 

a 7 4 L A W S of N E W- Y O R K, Ninth Scffion. 

recovered by the overfeers afcrefaid, in their names, before any juftice of the 
peace of the county of Albany, and when fo recovered (hall be retained by 
the faid overfeers, to be applied to thefpecial purpofe of conftruchng bridges 
In the faid Colonie, and after fuch bridges (ball be completed, to improving 
and amending the faid ftreet or highways, in fuch manner as the faid over- 
feers (hall, from time to time, deem proper. 

C H A P.i L1V. 

jin ACT to promote Literature, 

Pafled 29th April, 1786. 

WHEREAS it is agreeable to the principles of natural equity and 
juftice, that every author (hould be fecured in receiving the profits 
that may arife from the fale of his or her works ; and fuch fecurity may en- 
courage perfons of learning and genius to publifh their writings, which may 
do honour to their country and lervice to mankind. 

L Be it enattcd by the people ofthejiate of New- York, reprefentcd in fenatc 
end affembly, audit is hereby ena&edby the authority of the fame, That the 
Auttonofbooktatui author of any book or pamphlet, being an inhabitant or 
EkrUteof '"in ** reu ^ ent in ^^ United States, and his or her heirs and af- 
m<i imuuhmz tin* figns. (hall have the fole liberty of printing, publilhing and 
fgr l *3 w *- vending the fame within this ftate, for the term of fourteen 

years, to commence from the day of its fitft publication in this ftate ; and if 
any perfon or perfons within the faid term of fourteen years as aforefaid, (hall 
prefume to print or re-print any fuch book or pamphlet within this ftate, or 
to import or introduce into this ftate for fale, any copies of fuch book or 
pamphlet, re-printed beyond the limits of this ftate, or (hall knowingly pub- 
hfh, vend, utter or diftribute the fame, without the confent of the proprietor 
thereof in writing, ligned in the preience of two credible witnefles ; every 
fuch perfon or perfons (hall forfeit and pay to the proprietor of fuch book 
or pamphlet, double the value of all the copies of fuch book or pamphlet fo 
re-printed, imported, diftributed, vended or expofed for fale, to be recovered 
by fuch proprietor in any court of law in this ftate, proper to try the fame. and Proved neverthelefe, That no author, affignee or pro- 
titieoftuebooicw be prietor of any fuch book or pamphlet, (hall be entitled to 
regatercd. tal;e ^ bene f lt f t hj s ac ^ unt ji jj e or ft, e faiM. duly regifter 

his or her name, as author, affignee cr proprietor, with the title of fuch book 
or pamphlet, in the office of the fecretary of this ftate, who is hereby em- 
powered and directed to enter the fame on record. 

Ai.rj.or.ifiivineat H. dnd be it further enatted by the authority (forefaid, 
i h *vMrt r Vnti"w 1 to ^ zt at tneex P' raDon °f tne &id tenn of fourteen years, 
the lame privilege in the cafes above-mentioned, the fole right of printing and 
other 14 year*. difpofing of any fuch book or pamphlet in tills fiate, (hall 
return to the author thereof, if then living, and his or her heirs and afligns, 
for the term of fourteen years more, to commence at the end of the faid 
firft term ; and that all and every perfon or perfons who (hall re-print, im- 
port, vend, utter or diftribute in this ftate any copies thereof, without the 
confent of fuch proprietor obtained as aforefaid, during the faid fecond term 
of fourteen years, (hall be liable to the fame penalties, recoverable in the 
fame manner as is herein before enacted and provided. 

III. And whereas it is equally neceffary for the encouragement of learn- 
ing, that the inhabitants of this Hate be furnifhed with ufeful book at reafon- 

Plate XVII 

Type and Type Founding 

anxious to give public Satisfaction, and fearing, after the 
Publication of his Proposals, that the Types therein proposed 
to print this Work upon would not hold out good to the End, 
the Editor engaged Mr. Mappa, of this City, an ingenious 
Type-Founder from Holland, to cast a new Fount for it, 
which unavoidably delayed the Publication for near two 
Months. However disagreeable this Delay may have been to 
the Subscribers (as well as to the Editor, who suffers most by 
it) it is to be presumed, that the Consideration of giving En- 
couragement to the Manufactures of our State, will more 
than compensate. The Types are not so perfectly Regular 
as those from the London Foundries, which have been im- 
proving for Centuries — but, no Cash went to London for 
them — and our infant Manufactures ought to be encouraged, 
that they also may improve." 

As would be expected, Mappa's letters, certainly the fonts 
shown in the Greenleaf Laws, are Dutch in style. (Plate 
xvn.) They are not impressive in design and one is led to com- 
pare them unfavorably with the letters of Baine and with 
Mappa's earlier work in Delft, shown in his specimen sheet 
of 1785, now preserved in the Typographical Library and 
Museum of the American Typefounders Company. In Feb- 
ruary, 1794, he advertised his plant for sale. Thereafter he 
engaged in other business, and his punches and matrices were 
eventually bought by Binny & Ronaldson. 

The type-founding industry of the United States, through 
native and foreign genius, had reached the stage of develop- 
ment that has been indicated in the foregoing relation when 
Archibald Binny came to Philadelphia in 1795. Its develop- 
ment from that time to the present is a story that falls to 
others to relate. Happily it is the history of an industry in 
the product of which there has prevailed, along with the 

[ 113 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

qualities that make for commercial success, a genuine desire 
for beauty and for purity of design and honesty of work- 
manship. (Plates xviii and xix.) 

[ in ] 


Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nos- 
tra? quamdiu nos etiam furor iste tuus eludet? 
quern ad finem sese effrenata jactabit audacia? ni- 
hilne te nocturnum presidium palatii, nihil urbis 
vigilise, nihil timor populi, nihil consensus bono- 
rum omnium, nihil hie munitissimus habendi se- 
natus locus, nihil horum ora vultusque moverunt? 
patere tua consilia non sentis? constrictam jam 
omnium horum conscientia teneri conjurationem 
tuam non vides? quid proxima, quid superiore 




Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nos- 
tra? quamdiu nos etiam furor iste tuus eludet? quern 
ad Jinem sese effrenata jactabit audacia? nihilne 
te nocturnum prcesidium palatii, nihil urbis vigiliae, 
nihil timor populi, nihil consensus bonorum omnium, 
nihil hie munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil 
horum ora vultusque moverunt? patere tua consilia 
non sentis? constrictam jam omnium horum con- 
scientia teneri conjurationem tuam non vides? quid 
proxima, quid superiore node egeris, ubi fueris, 
quos convocaveiis, quid consilii ceperis, quern nos- 

Plate XVIII 


Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, pati- 
entia nostra? quamdiu nos etiam furor iste 
tuus eludet? quern ad finem sese eflrenata 
jactabit audacia? nihilne te nocturnum 
presidium palatii, nihil urbis vigiliae, ni- 
hil timor populi, nihil consensus bonorum 
omnium, nihil hie munitissimus habenbi 
senatus locus, nihil horum ora vultusque 




Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patien- 
tia nostra? quamdiu nos etiam furor iste 
tuus eludet? quern adjinem sese effrenata 
jactabit audacia? nihilne te nocturnum 
prcesidium palatii, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil 
timor populi, nihil consensus bonorum 
omnium, nihil hie munitissimus habendi 
senatus locus, nihil horum ora vultusque 
moverunt? pater e tua consilia non sentis? 


Plate XIX 


Printing Ink 

IN the year 1747, Benjamin Franklin received a letter 
from Jonas Green in which the Annapolis printer wrote 
that he required "some varnish (a bottle by the post) 
and 4 or 5 Pound of Lampblack." In these words is found an 
order for the ingredients of printing ink; that is for varnish, 
or linseed oil boiled with rosin, and for lampblack, the im- 
palpable soot derived from the smoke of carbonaceous sub- 
stances. It was not a particularly small order, either, for 
lampblack is a bulky stuff, and in this letter to his friend, 
supporter, and agent, Green was asking for about a third of 
a barrel of the pigment needed in mixing the ink to be used 
in his shop. 1 

Local Manufacture of the Ingredients 

The question as to the habitual character of the practice 
suggested b}^ Green's words now presents itself for examina- 
tion. It is doubtless true in large measure, as Isaiah Thomas 
writes, that the ink used by the colonial printer was chiefly 
imported, ready-made, from England, but there is evidence 
in plenty that this custom was not invariable in all places 
and at all times. Thomas records an exception to his state- 
ment in the practice of Rogers & Fowle of Boston, who al- 
most alone in that historian's knowledge of the mid-eight- 
eenth-century printers, were capable of making good printing 
ink. It is known, too, that Franklin counted the mixing of ink 
among the innumerable duties he was required to perform as 
the factotum of Keimer's Philadelphia shop in 1723. It is not 
safe to affirm too emphatically that the ingredients he em- 

[ >i5 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ployed in the operation were of native manufacture, but it 
seems possible to support an assumption to this effect by sat- 
isfactory evidence. At any rate, it was only ten years later 
that Franklin, now a man of affairs and acting on his own 
account, purchased from one Nathaniel Jenkins, for the sum 
of thirty-five pounds, an already existing "lampblack house." 
In 1756, Anthony Armbruester, then in partnership with 
Franklin, rented this lampblack house, or another, for the pe- 
riod of a year. Isaiah Thomas mentions the making of lamp- 
black and printing ink among the sixteen trades (more gen- 
erous writers put the number at thirty), engaged in by Chris- 
topher Sower, the Elder, of Germantown, and continued in 
these particulars by the second Christopher Sower, printer 
and type founder of the second generation. We can be rea- 
sonably sure of the correctness of this information as far as 
it relates to the younger Sower, for among the effects of his 
forfeited estate, sold in 1778, the appraisers found an en- 
gine and other articles "in the Lam black house." This early 
and presumably continuous connection of the Pennsylvania 
printers with lampblack houses can mean only that they were 
making, for themselves and probably for others, one at least 
of the essential ingredients used in their trade. It is certain 
that in 1747, when Franklin received Jonas Green's order 
for lampblack, he was selling this commodity to numerous 
printers throughout the colonies, and that along with his 
trade in the pigment went an equally active business in the 
sale of the essential varnish. 2 

The other ingredient of printing ink, the varnish with 
which the lampblack is mixed, is simply "flaxseed," or, more 
familiarly,"linseed" oil boiled with rosin to a state of viscid- 
ity. There is evidence of the culture of flax for the purpose 
of making linen in the very early days of the New England 

[ 116 ] 

Printing Ink 

and Virginia colonies. In 1640 the Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut legislative bodies had reached the point of encourag- 
ing its growth by enactment. In 1662 the Virginia Assembly 
encouraged by bounties the making of linen from domestic 
flax, and in a later year made it mandatory. At one time or 
another most of the colonies with agricultural and industrial 
interests made special efforts to introduce this useful plant 
and to improve the quality of the linen manufactured from 
its fibrous stalk. Because of its German and Irish agricultur- 
alists, Pennsylvania was particularly successful in its efforts 
to these ends; linen was being made at Germantown in 1692, 
and in 1729 this colony exported to Ireland and Scotland 
nearly 1800 bushels of flaxseed. Doubtless here and else- 
where, the expressing of the useful linseed oil was under- 
taken as a matter of course as soon as flaxseed began to be 
obtainable in quantity. Certainly oil mills were erected at an 
early period. In Some Letters and an Abstract of Letters 
from Pennsylvania, London, 1691, C. Pickering wrote home 
from the province, "An Oil-Mill is erecting to make Coal and 
Rape-Seed-Oyle, &c." About the year 1742 an oil mill was 
built in the Ephrata Cloister, and when a fire visited the 
industrial section of that institution in 1747, it destroyed, 
among other buildings,"a skillfully built oil-mill, with stones 
the like of which none before existed in America, besides a 
large store of oil, and above 500 bushels of flaxseed." One 
may reasonably infer from these words that other mills with 
cruder stones had existed before this exceptionally fine estab- 
lishment was erected at Ephrata. 3 

With Franklin and Armbruester and the Sowers making 
lampblack, and the Bruderschaft and, by inference, others, 
making linseed oil, the ingredients of printing ink, locally 
manufactured, were procurable in Pennsylvania from a rel- 

[ 117 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

atively early time in the eighteenth century. While Isaiah 
Thomas's statement may be taken as correct so far as it re- 
lated to New England, for he is seldom caught out on facts 
that came within the scope of his personal observation, it is 
certain that the need of importing ready-mixed ink did not 
rest so heavily upon the printers of the middle colonies as 
upon those of other sections. 

The Process of Making Varnish 

It is not cause for wonder that the printer should want to 
purchase his ink ready mixed at as early a period as he could 
with convenience ; for the making of it, as Moxon wrote, was 
"as well laborious to the Body, as noysom and ungrateful to 
the Sence, and by several odd accidents dangerous of Firing 
the Place it is made in." The English printers on this account 
generally bought the commercial product, and if their work 
turned out to be poor in impression, satisfied their consciences 
by blaming the ink maker. In telling how the ink should be 
made in order to ensure the best results, Moxon turns as usual 
to the practice of the Dutch, whose printing and equipment 
were invariably the models of excellence held up by this 
schoolmaster of English printing. We may think of some of 
our colonial printers as following Moxon's directions, which 
are given here in sense though not at length. 

The ink maker is to procure old linseed oil with a little 
rosin in it, even though it is cheaper to use train oil with a 
great deal of rosin, a combination that "by its grossness, Furs 
and Choaks up a Form, and by its fatness hinders the Inck 
from drying; so that when the Work comes to the Binders, it 
sets off," and furthermore the superfluity of rosin causes the 
ink to turn yellow. He is not to spare labor and fuel in boil- 

[ us ] 

Printing Ink 

ing it to a proper consistency, nor effort in clearing it. Put- 
ting the pigment into the varnish while it is boiling hot tar- 
nishes the "brisk and vivid black complexion" of the ink, so 
that the lampblack must be added after the mass has cooled, 
or preferably rubbed in on the ink block at the time of use ; 
and of course the printer must not stint himself in the amount 
of lampblack used if he wants a good sharp impression from 
his letter. 4 

The ink maker found it necessary to exercise great care 
to prevent setting fire to his oil during the boiling over an 
open oven. It is said that Christopher Sower used to boil his 
oil in a meadow in order to keep the evil odor away from the 
houses of the community, but the danger of burning down his 
whole establishment was of course the important considera- 
tion that led him to seek the open for this process. During the 
boiling it was necessary to skim the mass frequently and to 
put the rosin in slowly, a ladleful at a time, and when the 
mixture was thick enough to pull stiffly, the varnish might be 
considered as made. Litharge was put in from time to time to 
clarify the mixture and, when cool enough, the whole was 
strained through linen cloths. With the necessity of this la- 
borious process before him, only the most conscientious or 
economical printer could remain indifferent to the opportu- 
nity of purchasing his ink ready mixed, or at least, as we have 
seen Jonas Green doing, of purchasing the necessary varnish 
and lampblack for mixing on the block at the time of use. 

Ink Making as an Industry 

The alternative to purchasing ink from abroad, ready 
mixed, or to mixing the locally made varnish and lampblack 
lay in buying the ready-mixed product from an American 

[ i> 9 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

manufacturer. It is not with the intention of claiming priority 
for Justus Fox of Germantown that I point to his regular con- 
duct of this business. It is probable, indeed, that Franklin and 
the Sowers were selling ink to printers at an early period in 
the history of their establishments, and actually the Franklin 
Account Books show an occasional sale of printing ink in keg 
or cannister by the Philadelphia printer. Franklin's chief in- 
terest, however, was in supplying the materials of printing 
ink rather than the finished product, and it is only in 1792, 
when Justus Fox, the versatile printer, engraver, type found- 
. er, and ink maker of Germantown, began to sell ink by the 
keg to Matthew Carey that we recognize for the first time in 
the United States the specialist manufacturer of printing ink. 
Throughout the closing decade of the century, Fox was regu- 
larly engaged in making summer and winter ink and in sell- 
ing it in keg and pot to Matthew Carey and to other printers 
of the middle colonies. 5 

Rubbing Ink in the Shop 

The process of mixing ink, or of "rubbing" the black into 
the varnish, was a commonplace of printing-house practice. 
The specialist ink manufacturer was early established in 
England, but Moxon, writing in 1683, intimated that better 
results were to be obtained by the neglect of his product in 
favor of the practice of mixing the ink on the block as it was 
needed for the day's work. In a country where the printer 
could depend upon a regular and uniform supply of the man- 
ufactured ink, this was doubtless a counsel of perfection, but 
in colonial America, where importation was subject to the 
divine will and to innumerable permutations of human fac- 
tors, Moxon's advice, perforce, was frequently followed, 

[ 120 ] 

Printing Ink 

especially by printers working at a distance from the larger 
towns. It is likely that many printers, as a matter of course, 
but from necessity rather than from choice, kept a supply of 
lampblack and varnish on hand for emergencies or for special 
needs. The firm of Franklin & Hall spent a good round sum 
for English-made ink in the eighteen years of its existence, 
but in the same period the books show a consumption of some 
ten barrels of lampblack, purchased at the rate of 5 shillings 
a pound. 6 Aside from the emergency value of the practice, a 
printer might prefer to mix his own ink for such excellent 
reasons as the superiority of product thus obtained, as a 
means of occupying the spare time of apprentices, or as one 
of the many cash economies it behooved him to practise. 

Certainly the printers of the middle and southern colonies 
who looked to Franklin as their agent of supply, and some 
in New England as well, were of the same mind as Jonas 
Green in this matter of the purchase of locally made lamp- 
black and varnish rather than of ready-mixed imported ink. 
The gallon of varnish at 10 shillings sent by Franklin to 
Thomas Whitemarsh in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1732, 
the pound of lampblack at 5 shillings sent to Thomas Fleet 
of Boston ten years later, and the larger measures of these 
commodities supplied by him to James Franklin of Newport, 
Jonas Green of Annapolis, James Parker of New York, and 
other printers of the colonies are evidence that the practice 
by the American printer of mixing his own ink was habitual 
in character in this period of his activity. 

[ 121 ] 


The Paper of the Colonies 

IF Jonas Green, as it seems from the letter quoted in the 
preceding chapter, was dependent upon the manufactur- 
ers of Pennsylvania for the ingredients of printing ink, 
he and the printers of the middle colonies, generally, relied 
upon the mills of that province for much of the paper used 
in their business. 1 In that same informative letter from Green 
to Franklin occurs a sentence that may be taken as expressing 
a general condition of the time and section. "I wish," wrote 
the Maryland printer, "I could get another Parcel of Paper 
from Philadelphia;— Mr. Daniel Rawlings is gone up the 
Bay in a schooner,— and would bring some Paper for me. . . . 
If you could send me such a parcel as before I'll get you a 
large Bill of 40 or \$£ Sterling.— My paper sinks fast; we 
now use 3 or 4 Reams a week. I have about 450 or 460 good 
Customers for Seal'd Papers and about 80 unseal'd." 2 From 
the juxtaposition of the last sentence to those that contained 
the request for paper, we may assume that its writer was ask- 
ing for lightweight newspaper stock; his finer book papers, 
it is known, were customarily imported from England or 
Holland, or to speak more exactly, from Holland through 

It must be understood that the paper made in colonial 
America, especially in the early days, was not the finest in 
quality. The word "handmade" has a connotation in these 
days that dazzles the intelligence even of persons ordinarily 
unimpressed by shibboleths. The American paper of the sev- 
enteenth and early eighteenth centuries, handmade, of course, 
from rags, was an honest paper, tough and durable in gen- 
eral, but as variable in quality as one would expect from in- 

[ 122 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

different materials handled by provincial workmen in rude 
manufactories. It is idle to think of the bulk of it as more 
than this. Like most things "early American" in origin, it 
was that or nothing for its users; the printer who could have 
imported European paper at a reasonable cost would have 
been no more content with the local product than the man of 
taste of the period with furniture from the village carpenter 
if Chippendale and Sheraton had been within his means. The 
American-made paper served well enough for newspaper and 
pamphlet work, but when the printer had before him an im- 
portant job of book printing, he began it by ordering through 
his London agent a supply of European paper, preferably 
paper of Dutch manufacture. As in all generalizations, one 
need not look far for exceptions to these statements, but it 
remains true that even the best early American papers pos- 
sessed little of the quality to be found in the firm texture and 
the rich, creamy aspect of the Dutch product, or of the pro- 
duct of Whatman and of other English makers of the late 
eighteenth century. 

The Mode of Manufacture 

The method of paper manufacture pursued throughout the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the colonies differed 
hardly at all from the processes which had been the rule since 
the earliest days of the craft in Europe. The ideal constitu- 
ents for the finer papers were clean white linen rag and plenty 
of clear, flowing water devoid of strong mineral content. In 
the earlier days the rags were thrown into the water-filled 
trough of a stamping machine and slowly beaten until the 
mass became a thin fibrous pulp. This substance was con- 
veyed to a vat where stood the paper maker with his mould, 

[ 123 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the simplest and most primitive of implements, a rectangular 
frame with a bottom formed by fine wires, closely set, run- 
ning the length of the frame and crossed by coarser wires, 
widely set, running its width. It was the skill of the paper 
maker which counted more than the complexity of tools and 
materials. To take up the pulp with the mould in the right 
quantity, to drain it evenly by calculated movements, to dis- 
charge the thin, saturated layer of pulp upon a felt pad at 
exactly t;he right moment were processes which demanded 
something more than mere manual dexterity. Other hands 
took the pile of new sheets, each between its felts, and placed 
them beneath a press which squeezed the water from them, 
and still others hung the sheets upon hair ropes for drying in 
a loft or other airy space. This is of course the briefest out- 
line of a manufacture that involved innumerable processes 
in which skill and knowledge were required for the desired 
results. We can think of it as being followed by William Rit- 
tenhouse in that first mill near Germantown, and with only 
one change by all the later colonial paper makers. Sometime 
about the year 1690 the Dutch devised a machine for pulp- 
ing the rags which has been known ever since as a Hollander. 
Dard Hunter's books show pictures of this invention through 
which the rags were reduced to fibre by means of a process of 
cutting and tearing instead of the slow stamping method of 
the earlier time. Just when the Hollander was first intro- 
duced into the American mills seems a matter of uncertainty, 
but in all probability it was part of the equipment of those 
Pennsylvania establishments of the first half of the eight- 
eenth century of which something is to be said later in this 
chapter. The Fourdrinier machine, chemical bleaching, paper 
from wood pulp and other vegetable substances are all de- 
velopments of the nineteenth century, though it should be 

[ in ] 






The Paper of the Colonies 

said that experimentation in all these methods and machines 
was begun in the period of our interest. (Plate xx.) 

Laid and Wove Paper 

During the greater part of the eighteenth century the 
paper made in America was of the variety known as "laid" 
in distinction to the "wove" paper that came into use late in 
the period. Held to the light, a sheet of laid paper shows in- 
numerable fine lines running the length of the sheet, crossed 
at intervals of about an inch by the coarser lines sometimes 
described as "chain" lines. These are the marks formed by 
the bottom of the mould, in which the fine wires that run 
from end to end are held rigid by coarse wires that cross the 
mould from side to side. It was not until 1757 that Basker- 
ville used, in the Virgil of that year, his newly invented 
"wove" paper. The bottom of the mould in which the sheets 
of this product were formed was a sort of wire cloth, com- 
posed of fine brass wires closely woven together as on a loom 
instead of being laid in right lines from end to end and across 
the frame. The new way of forming the bottom of the mould 
did away with all straight wires in either direction and with 
the inequalities produced by the crossings of straight wires. 
The consequence was that the paper made from such a mould 
lacked the wire lines and chain lines just spoken of as char- 
acterizing the laid papers when held to the light. It was, to a 
marked degree, paper of a smoother surface and a closer 
integration of texture than was found in the laid paper of 
customary use. 

Wove paper was regularly in use in England soon after its 
invention, and in 1777 Franklin exhibited specimens of it in 
France. A few years later, in 1782, its successful manufac- 

[ 125 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ture began in that country too, where, as papier velin, it 
quickly became popular with the printers of fine books. Its 
manufacture in America, always conservative, seems to have 
been deferred almost to the close of the century. I have not 
seen an earlier reference to a native-made wove paper than 
the sentence which occurs in the note appended to the Elegiac 
Sonnets and other Poems of Charlotte Smith, printed by 
Isaiah Thomas in Worcester, in 1795. Of the excellent wove 
paper used in that book, Thomas wrote : "The making of the 
particular kind of paper on which these sonnets are printed, 
is a new business in America ; and but lately introduced into 
Great Britain ; it is the first manufactured by the editor." The 
development everywhere in the last decade of the century of 
the type face known as "modern," with its hair-line serifs 
and its contrast of thick and excessively thin strokes, had a 
great deal to do with the increase in the use of wove paper 
by the printers. Not only did the impression from the thin 
lines of the letter take better on the smooth surface of the 
new paper, but through its employment the wear and tear 
upon the fragile type was less than when the relatively rough- 
surfaced laid paper was used for the work. 

The Beginnings in Pennsylvania 

In one of the numerous Pennsylvania colonization tracts, 
Some Letters and an Abstract of Letters from Pennsylvania, 
London, 1691, various accounts of material progress in the 
new Friends' colony were brought together and published for 
the encouragement of intending settlers. Among the abstracts 
quoted for this purpose was the following sentence from a 
letter that William Bradford, the printer, wrote in 1690 to a 
friend in London: "Samuel Carpenter and I are Building a 

[ 126 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

Paper-Mill about a Mile from thy Mills at Skulkill, and 
hope we shall have Paper within less then four months." In 
these words seems to be the first announcement in print of the 
beginnings of the paper-making industry in the United States. 
Another associate in the enterprise with Bradford and Car- 
penter was William Rittenhouse, who, a paper maker by 
trade, was put in charge of the mill which the partners built 
in 1690 near Germantown on a tributary of Wissahickon 
Creek, known in later years as Paper-Mill Run. The local 
rhymesters gave notice to the world of this addition to the 
advantages which their community offered intending settlers. 3 
In Richard Frame's Short Description of Pennsilvania, print- 
ed in Philadelphia in 1692, the author speaks of Germantown, 

Where lives High-German People, and Low-Dutch, 
Whose Trade in weaving Linnin Cloth is much, 

One Trade brings in imployment for another, 
So that we may suppose each Trade a Brother ; 
From Linnin Rags good Paper doth derive, 
The first Trade keeps the second Trade alive : 
Without the first the second cannot be, 
Therefore since these two can so well agree, 
Convenience doth approve to place them nigh, 
One in the German-Town, t'other hard by. 

In a poem written four years later that remained in manu- 
script until 1847, John Holme's True Relation of the Flour- 
ishing State of Pennsylvania, another rhymester gives perti- 
nent information of the Rittenhouse mill in that part of his 
description of Philadelphia which deals with the activities of 
William Bradford: 

[ 'V ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Here dwelt a printer and I find 
That he can both print books and bind ; 
He wants not paper, ink, nor skill 
He's owner of a paper mill. 
The paper mill is here hard by 
And makes good paper frequently, 
But the printer, as I here tell, 
Is gone unto New York to dwell. 
No doubt but he will lay up bags 
If he can get good store of rags. 
Kind friend, when thy old shift is rent 
Let it to th' paper mill be sent. 

Two years later Gabriel Thomas wrote in his Historical 
and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of 
Pensilvania, London, 1698, that "All sorts of very good 
Paper are made in the German-Town ; as also very fine Ger- 
man Linen, such as no Person of Quality need be asham'd to 
wear." The Pennsylvania promoters were not allowing this 
particular light to be hid under a bushel. 

As the local poetasters recorded, it was because of the 
needs and the initiative of William Bradford, then printing 
in Philadelphia, that the industry of paper making was be- 
gun at this time near Germantown. Bradford controlled a 
quarter share in the Rittenhouse mill from its beginning until 
the year 1704, even though at the end of this period he had 
been living and working in New York for eleven years. In 
1697 he made an agreement with his partners in the mill 
whereby he was to receive his share of the profits in kind. In 
lieu of money he agreed to accept annually, for the ensuing 
ten years, paper amounting in value to £6. 2s., and during the 
same period to have the refusal of all printing paper pro- 
duced by the mill at the price of 10 shillings a ream, and of a 

[ 128 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

specified amount of writing paper at 20 shillings a ream. It 
is believed that in spite of the circumstances of his removal 
to New York, Bradford continued to control the Philadelphia 
press that operated for several years after 1699 in the name 
Reinier Jansen, so that this agreement with the mill worked 
no hardship on the printer who succeeded him in that city. It 
must be that Bradford's continued patronage of the German- 
town mill was the origin of that trade in paper with Penn- 
sylvania which Hugh Gaine, nearly a century later, com- 
plained of as taking annually many hundreds of pounds of 
ready money from New York to "a neighboring province." 

The Germantown mill, with at least one steady customer 
for printing paper in the person of Bradford, continued to 
flourish for many years. Dard Hunter records the several 
watermarks used by William Rittenhouse and his descend- 
ants and successors in the business. 4 One of his sons-in-law, 
William De Wees, established near by in Germantown the 
second American paper mill, and when, in 1729, Thomas 
Willcox set up a mill in Delaware County about twenty 
miles from Philadelphia, the industry of paper making could 
be regarded as well established in America and the paper- 
making primacy of Pennsylvania begun. This state alone 
claimed forty-eight of the eighty or ninety mills in operation 
in the United States in 1 787, and boasted an annual produc- 
tion two years later of 7000 reams of paper. 5 

New Jersey 

Bradford's need for paper in the later years of his career as 
a New York printer was not satisfied by the supplies he con- 
tinued to obtain from the Rittenhouse and De Wees mills. In 
1 724, he petitioned the New York Assembly for the sole priv- 

[ 129 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ilege of making paper in that colony, but averse to the en- 
couragement of local manufactures, the Governor and Council 
refused to admit to a third reading the bill for the establish- 
ment of Bradford's mill that had already passed the Lower 
House. Bradford was forced to turn his attention elsewhere. 
Some years later an advertisement in the American Weekly 
Mercury for July 10, 1729, calls for the return of an inden- 
tured servant who has run away from "William Bradford's 
Paper-Mill at Elizabeth-Town in New-Jersey." When or by 
whom this mill was begun is not known, but Bradford is sup- 
posed to have bought it in 1728. Knowing his need and his 
initiative and his close relationship with the neighboring 
colony, one feels justified in suggesting that his was the insti- 
gating force that set the first New Jersey mill in motion. It is 
difficult otherwise to account for the establishment of a mill 
in a colony in which there was no resident printer, and at a 
place so close to New York and so far from Philadelphia as 
Elizabeth, New Jersey. This mill was still in existence in 
1735, but the extent of its activities is uncertain. 

New York 

Though there exists a reference to a paper mill "begun to 
be erected" near New York, in a letter from the Governor to 
the Lords of Trade, dated May 7, 1768, the history of paper 
making in that colony begins, in fact, some five years later. 
At that time Hugh Gaine was feeling the necessity of buying 
paper from Pennsylvania to be so irksome that, in 1773, he 
determined to form a company for the manufacture of a 
commodity essential to his business. A mill was built at 
Hempstead on Long Island, and Gaine began the publica- 
tion of a series of appeals for rags. He made local interest 

[ 130 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

one of the grounds for the support of a manufacture that he 
described as "very lately originated here." The people of the 
Province of New York, he writes a few months later, "con- 
sume many Hundred Reams of Paper annually, that for 40 
Years past were imported from a neighboring Province, to 
the very great Detriment of this, as the Cash transmitted 
from hence on that Account never returned again, the Bal- 
ance of Trade being so very great against us." In 1774 he 
was offering threepence a pound for "Good, dry, clean linen 
Rags," and in 1782, in the stringent days of the Revolution, 
he raised his offer to fourpence a pound, adding, sensibly 
enough, "as there are a great Quantity of this Article about 
the back Parts of the Town the Poor may be well employed 
in gathering of them." 

Whatever may have been the ultimate influence of Gaine's 
paper mill on the importation of paper, it is certain that some 
years elapsed before the practice of bringing in paper from 
Pennsylvania was discontinued by the New York printers. 
When, in 1774, Rivington was printing Bernard Romans's 
great charts of the Florida waters on thirteen sheets, each 
measuring 22 x 28 inches, it was announced that the paper 
for this extraordinary production had been made to order in 
Pennsylvania. In September, 1777, Samuel Loudon sent a 
letter from Fishkill, whither he had fled to escape the British 
occupation of New York, to a correspondent in Norwich, 
Connecticut, requesting that he be supplied with a few hogs- 
heads of rum and with fifty reams of paper. The desire for 
this astonishing quantity of rum seems to have arisen from 
the speculative habit of the former ship chandler rather than 
from his personal needs, but the paper was another matter : 
he assured his friend that unless he received a good supply of 
paper, he would be compelled to close his printing office, and 

[ 131 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

continued with an explanation of the circumstance that had 
forced him into these straits. "The Writing Paper," he wrote, 
"is dear, but I must get some, and Phila. where I had my 
supply from, for some time past, is not in a state to help me, 
as all the Inhabitants are employ'd against their Enemy, who 
is at their door." In a letter to a New Haven correspondent a 
month or more later, a document of importance to the his- 
torian of American paper manufacturing, Loudon continued 
to ask for paper for his active press. "Mr. Holt," he wrote, 
"has great plenty of Paper left of several parcels he had from 
Phila.— I was disappointed of near 100 Reams which was 
purchased for me in Philadelphia, a little before Howe got 
possession of that City, which indeed has proved a very great 
loss to me." Further on in this letter, he asserts again that 
unless he can be supplied with paper by the New England 
mills, he must stop his press, as he "can't expect any from 
Phila. this winter." Five years later, when New York was 
still suffering from a paper shortage, Loudon and Robert 
Boyd received permission from the Assembly to raise by lot- 
tery the sum of £500 for the erection of a paper mill, but it 
is not recorded that the project thus fostered was afterwards 
executed. 6 


There is no doubt that during a large part of the colonial 
period the Pennsylvania mills supplied the middle colonies 
with their ordinary printing paper, and indeed with the paper 
for some very important books as well. Sower's great German 
Bible, issued in 1743, was printed in part, it is often said, on 
paper made in the mill conducted by the Seventh Day Baptist 
brotherhood at Ephrata, established probably about 1740; 
and the Mennonite Martyr Book of 1748, containing 756 

[ 13 2 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

leaves folio, was printed in the Ephrata monastery on paper 
made in the mill of the Bruderschaft. 7 It was late in the cen- 
tury that the Maryland printers found themselves independ- 
ent of the Pennsylvania mills. In 1771, John Dunlap, printer 
of Philadelphia, advertised in the Maryland Gazette for 
September 5 and November 21 that he had for sale "Penn- 
sylvania Printing Paper of all sorts ... on the most rea- 
sonable terms." Five years later, in 1776, the Maryland 
Convention advanced 400 pounds currency to James Dor- 
sett for the establishment of a paper mill, the product of 
which was to be marketed at a price "as cheap as the same 
can or shall be sold at any mill in the Province of Pennsyl- 
vania." Before this action of the Convention, on November 
8, 1775, Mary Goddard had advertised in her newspaper, the 
Maryland Journal, that she would pay cash for rags to be 
used in the paper mill now erecting near Baltimore. It is only 
by inference that we can identify this establishment with 
Dorsett's mill, six months later subsidized by the Conven- 
tion. At any rate, a mill erected at Elkridge Landing, near 
Baltimore, was fostered by Mary Goddard during a part of 
her period of management of the Maryland Journal, and the 
operation of it seems to have been taken over by William 
Goddard and Eleazer Oswald when those two hotspurs of 
typography formed a partnership in 1779. 8 


It is likely that during the early years of William Parks in 
Virginia, he too depended upon importation from Pennsyl- 
vania for his ordinary paper, but about the year 1743, this 
enterprising printer began the establishment of a mill at Wil- 
liamsburg to supply his own presses. The first contemporary 

[ 133 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

reference in print to this earliest mill south of Pennsylvania 
is in the form of an ode in the Virginia Gazette of July 26, 
1744, but the publication by George Simpson Eddy of the 
Franklin Account Books in 1929 revealed a great deal of its 
earlier history. From that source we learn that as early as 
1742, Franklin placed in his Gazette, at Parks's behest, the 
circumstances indicate, an advertisement to the effect that a 
person capable of building a paper mill and another that un- 
derstood the making of paper were wanted to institute and 
carry on that industry in a neighboring colony. Thereafter, in 
1743 and 1744, Parks is charged in the Account Books for 
payments made on his behalf to a carpenter and to Johan 
Conrad Shiitz, a paper maker, and for various articles of pa- 
per-making equipment — moulds, hair ropes, hair cloths, and 
material for vats. In the period 1743-1747, he sold to Wil- 
liam Parks 11,382 pounds of rags. Of these, 1700 pounds 
were "fine pick't rags" at 4^. a pound, but the bulk of the 
shipments were at the much lower rate of ly^d. a pound. A 
considerable part of this indebtedness to Franklin was paid 
by Parks, as the Account Books show, in paper, presumably 
the manufacture of the new mill. 

The question of the fate of the Williamsburg mill con- 
tinues to puzzle historians of American paper making. Rags 
were advertised for in the Gazette again on April 18, 1745; 
the mill was referred to as in existence in an undated re- 
port by Governor Sir William Gooch between the years 
1746 and 1749, and it was listed among the properties sold 
by Parks's trustees after his death in 1750. It is not known 
with certainty how long after this year the operation of the 
mill was carried on, but as its purchaser paid £96 and some 
odd shillings for the property, he must have intended its con- 
tinuance, though it may be that the building it occupied was 

[ 134 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

the valuable thing in his estimation rather than the good will 
of the business and the equipment of the mill. Recently, how- 
ever, certain discoveries, communicated to the Bibliograph- 
ical Society of America in 1937 by Rutherfoord Goodwin, in- 
dicate that the mill may have continued operation for many 
years after its founder's death. In 1935, certain sheets in the 
second edition of the German Bible, printed by the second 
Christopher Sower in 1763, were found to contain a water- 
mark in one half of the sheet representing the initials WP 
surmounted by a crown, and in the other half a watermark 
picturing the arms of the colony of Virginia. Working back- 
ward from this point, paper of the same quality, color, mould 
marks, and watermarks, was found in various productions of 
the Williamsburg press, including two or three books printed 
by Parks himself, notably his edition of Stith's History of 
Virginia, Williamsburg, 1747. There are several possible ex- 
planations of the presence of paper so marked in a Pennsyl- 
vania publication of 1763 : the simple and obvious one is that 
the purchaser of the Parks mill continued its operation for 
many years after the death of its founder on a scale large 
enough to enable him to sell paper in quantity to printers in 
other colonies ; an alternative is that some part of the Parks 
equipment, including the moulds, was acquired by a Pennsyl- 
vania paper maker who made use of them for years without 
removing or altering the wire-wrought designs which formed 
the watermarks described. Some day, perhaps, records will be 
found to resolve the doubt that now exists in connection with 
the fate of the first Virginia mill after the death of Parks in 
1750. 9 

[ 135 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
North Carolina 

Paper making in North Carolina owed its origin to the 
scarcity of the imported article in the days of the Revolution. 
In August, 1775, the Provincial Congress offered a subsidy 
of £250 to aid in the establishment of a mill. On this en- 
couragement, doubtless, a manufactory was set up near Hills- 
boro in 1777, and on November 14 of that year, an advertise- 
ment for rags was inserted in the North Carolina Gazette. A 
second North Carolina paper mill was built at Salem among 
the Moravians by Gottlieb Shober in 1789, and it is probable 
that this is the mill sometimes said to have been begun at that 
place many years earlier. In the year 1776, William Bellamy 
had contracted with the neighboring colony of South Caro- 
lina for a five-year loan of £3000 currency for the purpose 
of establishing a paper mill within its borders. Whether the 
project went through to completion in that colony seems un- 
certain. 10 

The New England Mills 

Because of various trade conditions and the difficulties of 
transportation, it is probable that the northern printers im- 
ported little paper from the Pennsylvania mills. That they 
were dependent upon European manufacturers to make good 
the relative inactivity of the New England mills seems to be 
expressly stated in an announcement, presumably by Wil- 
liam Goddard, issued in connection with the establishment, 
in 1765, of the first Rhode Island paper mill. This interest- 
ing "Advertisement," quoted in full on a later page, con- 
tained the following reflection upon one of the chief advan- 
tages of the "spacious mill" just built in Providence: ". . . 
it's Utility to this Part of the Country will be soon demon- 

[ 136 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

strated by a Saving of some Thousand Dollars, that are 
annually sunk to us in the Pockets of the European Mer- 
chants." Nothing is said of cash going to another colony, a 
condition that Hugh Gaine of New York complained of a 
few years later, and one may assume that the New England 
printers looked to Europe for the bulk of their paper until 
the Revolution drove them to the manufacture of it in good 
earnest. The facts, indeed, lead one to expect this continu- 
ance of an early practice : the New England mills were few, 
the presses were prolific, and communication with England 
was well established and regular. 


The first mill to be established north of New Jersey grew 
out of the action of the Massachusetts Assembly of 1728 by 
which encouragement was given to the beginning of this in- 
dustry in New England. Daniel Henchman, whose initiative 
was probably the cause of the Assembly's action, joined with 
Gillam Phillips, Benjamin Faneuil, Thomas Hancock, and 
Henry Deering and built a paper manufactory at Milton on 
the Neponset sometime in the year 1729. The project seems 
to have made a certain amount of noise in the Boston neigh- 
borhood. In Nathaniel Ames's Almanack for 1729, printed 
in Boston by B. Green, appeared, under date of September 
20, 1728, a scale of the prices which would be paid for rags 
by Daniel Henchman, Thomas Hancock, and Eleazer Phil- 
lips. In the same Almanack for 1730, it was announced that 
"The Paper Mill mentioned in the Last Years Almanack has 
begun to go." The actual successful production of paper by 
this earliest New England mill very soon afterwards is de- 
termined by an incident of the sort that rarely occurs to give 

[ 137 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

assurance to the historian. A second issue of the Ames's Al- 
manack for 1730, dated 1730, was brought out by B. Green, 
who, with his contemporaries, and possibly, posterity, in 
mind, added to his imprint the statement: "This is the first 
Paper made at Milton, N. Eng." 11 

In the year 1734, the Lords of Trade prepared a report 
on such recent American legislation as affected English in- 
dustries and commerce. One of its sections deals with the 
Massachusetts ordinance of 1728 in the following words: 
"This Manufacture . . . has hitherto made but a small Prog- 
ress, and can hardly be said, in a strict Sense, to interfere with 
our own Paper, because almost all the Paper sent to New 
England is foreign Manufacture ; but it certainly interferes 
with the Profit made by our British Merchants upon the 
foreign Paper sent to this Province : However no Complaint 
has ever been made to Us against this Law." It might be sup- 
posed that the failure of the British merchants to observe a 
falling off in their exportations to New England could be 
accounted for by an expansion in the printing business that 
demanded the usual quantity of paper from England and 
absorbed also the product of the Massachusetts mill, but an 
examination of the recorded output of the New England 
press leads rather to the conclusion that the five years follow- 
ing the establishment of the mill were a particularly slack 
period in the printing activity of this section. Contrasting the 
figures for the five-year period before the mill was put in oper- 
ation with those for the similar period after this event, 1724— 
1728 with 1729-1733, it develops that in each group of years 
there were seven printing shops in active operation in New 
England. The recorded product of their presses in the earlier 
period was 407 titles as against 369 in the later, a decrease due 
to the death, in 1728, of one man, Cotton Mather, who in the 

[ 138 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

term of years 1724—1728 had sent sixty-three titles to the 
American press. Of the six New England newspapers pub- 
lished in the decade considered, three were common to both 
five-year periods, two were confined to each respectively, and 
one, the Rhode Island Gazette, had irregular publication for 
only seven months of the second period. The five-year period 
following the establishment of the Massachusetts paper mill 
saw an actual decrease, therefore, in the product of the press, 
and as it was in this period that the Lords of Trade report 
was made, one may wonder why the British merchants had 
not observed, or at least had not complained of, a decrease in 
their shipments of paper to New England. Perhaps the an- 
swer is that the service of the Massachusetts mill to the print- 
ers was neither continuous nor effective and that, in spite of 
its existence, the printers still relied mainly upon the im- 
ported article. 

Maine, Connecticut and other Colonies 

This condition could not be expected to remain unchanged, 
however, in a country where enterprise and natural manufac- 
turing facilities were found in peculiar measure. Sometime 
between June, 1731, and January, 1734, Governor Belcher 
reported to the Lords of Trade that a new paper mill had 
been set up at Falmouth, now Portland, Maine. It was doubt- 
less this mill that Richard Fry, as lessee of the promoters, 
Samuel Waldo and Thomas Westbrook, began to operate 
about the year 1734. Jonathan Olney and others began the 
operation of a mill in Providence in 1764. In 1766, Chris- 
topher Leffingwell established at Norwich, Connecticut, a 
mill which a year later seems to have been in successful oper- 
ation. In 1769 the Connecticut government granted a bounty 

[ 139 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

of twopence a quire on all writing paper and one penny a 
quire on all printing paper that should be manufactured by 
Leffingwell. Three years later, after £81. \6s. Sd. had been 
paid to the manufacturer by the Assembly, indicating that 
some 500 reams of both sorts had been made in the mean- 
time, the bounty was discontinued, and probably the mill 
also, for in December, 1775, the impossibility of obtaining 
paper compelled Ebenezer Watson, publisher of the Con- 
necticut Courant of Hartford, to suspend the issue of his 
journal for a month. On January 15, 1776, its publication 
was resumed on paper made in Hartford in a mill erected by 
the harassed printer himself. By the year 1776, there had 
been established in New England some eight or nine paper 
mills, at Milton, Falmouth, Norwich, Providence, and Hart- 
ford. Whether these were all in operation at this time is open 
to doubt, but beginning that year with Burbank's mill at Sut- 
ton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, the New England 
paper-making industry began to expand. Samuel Thurber 
built the second Rhode Island mill in 1780. Matthew Lyon 
built a mill at Fairhaven in Vermont between 1790 and 1795, 
and we find Moses Johnson of Keene, New Hampshire, col- 
lecting rags in 1792. When Isaiah Thomas compiled his pa- 
per-mill statistics in 1810, he found seventy-seven mills in 
operation in New England. 

Rhode Island 

In the New England Almanack for 1765, published by 
William Goddard, of Providence, in the autumn of the pre- 
ceding year, an announcement was made that has political 
as well as economic interest. Whether Goddard had a part- 
nership in the enterprise there proclaimed as in operation is 

[ H o ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

not known, but those who are familiar with his "manifesto" 
style may not doubt that he was the writer of the following 
prospectus of its plans : 


"As the present embarrassed Situation of the Trade of these 
Northern Colonies, renders it utterly impossible for us to pay 
for the large Quantities of Goods that are annually imported 
from Great-Britain, without reducing ourselves to the State 
of Slaves and Beggars, it is reasonable to suppose, that every 
Attempt to lessen the Demand for such Goods, by establish- 
ing Manufactories amongst ourselves, for the making those 
Things which are really beneficial, must meet with the Ap- 
probation and Encouragement of all who wish well to this 
Country.— Amongst many laudable Endeavours in the differ- 
ent Provinces, for the Purpose aforesaid, a spirited Effort is 
now actually making in the Town of Providence, for carry- 
ing on a Paper Manufactory, a spacious Mill being already 
built, and will be speedily set to work, which, if it can obtain 
a proper Supply of Linen Rags, old Sail Cloth, and Junk, 
those being the principal Articles necessary for making that 
useful Commodity, it's Utility to this Part of the Country 
will be soon demonstrated by a Saving of some Thousand 
Dollars, that are annually sunk to us in the Pockets of the 
European Merchants.— Nothing but the Industry and Fru- 
gality of the Inhabitants of this and the neighboring Colo- 
nies, in preserving and furnishing the Mill with the above 
Articles, can ensure it's Success ; and as it is a Matter worthy 
of Attention, it is hoped every Family will be so frugal and 
industrious as to promote it in that Manner, by which they 
will soon experience the Propriety of that old Proverb, A 
Penny saved is a Penny got.— Ready Money will be given 

[ hi ] 

The Colonial Printer 

for the Articles above-mentioned by Jonathan Olney, John 
Waterman, Jonathan Ballau, or by the Printer of this Al- 

The continuance of this mill is attested by the appearance 
of advertisements for rags in the Providence Gazette for 
many years, and by the fact that in 1780 there was going on 
in Providence a rivalry in rag buying between the "old Pa- 
per-Mill," controlled by Christopher Olney, and the "new 
Paper-Mill, " built, probably, in the summer of 1780, by 
Samuel Thurber in the north end of the town. The date of 
the beginning of Rhode Island paper making is usually given 
as that of the establishment of the Thurber mill, but recent 
investigations indicate that the date should be set sixteen 
years earlier with the establishment in 1764 of the mill by 
Jonathan Olney, John Waterman, and Jonathan Ballau for 
which William Goddard, we have supposed, wrote the vigor- 
ous prospectus. 12 

Paper in Politics 

The directness of cause and effect, well illustrated in the 
Rhode Island announcement just quoted, that exists between 
the origin of American industries and the various acts for tax- 
ation, the port bills, and the navigation acts of the British 
government, is one of the commonplaces of our history. The 
very thing needed for the encouragement of the paper-making 
industry in America was the Townshend Act of 1767 by 
which a tax was imposed upon tea, and upon paper, glass, 
and other manufactured articles. It is quite likely that paper 
was more emphatically an immediate cause for the outbreak 
of the spirit of revolt than the insipid herb of which so much 

[ 142 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

has been written. Certainly one would like to think this true. 
Tea as the father of the Eagle has always been something of 
an embarrassment to the American with a sense of humor. 
Paper is a much more dignified and spiritually important 
commodity. A tax on paper struck a vital blow at the busi- 
ness of the American printer, and this provincial craftsman 
was likewise the newspaper editor and a political influence 
in his community. United, he and his fellows formed a pow- 
erful factor in opposition, and they could be counted on to 
unite against a law that included paper among the taxable 
articles. They succeeded, too, in directing the indignation of 
their readers against the act without letting the element of 
self-interest appear too prominently. We hear little of the 
illegality of taxing paper, but there seems to have been a 
furious pother about tea. The air was full of tea, and one 
suspects the printers of having thrown it about to screen their 
real grievance. Any article of general use would have served 
their purpose, but they did not want to make paper the test 
article. They needed paper and they succeeded in having the 
cheaper grades of the commodity, the newspaper grades, in- 
cluded in the schedule of exceptions in the various non- 
importation resolutions of 1769. In consequence of their need 
and of the increased price of the taxed commodity, they be- 
came unremitting in their encouragement of paper making as 
a native industry. 

Rags! Rags! Rags! 

In spite of the activity of the American mills, the paper 
situation was usually critical because of the lack of rags and 
the difficulty of securing labor. Even the publishers of the 
greater journals found it necessary during the Revolution, 

[ H3 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

for example, to reduce the size of their sheets and in many 
cases to omit issues altogether. Paper making was regarded to 
such a degree as an "essential occupation" that skilled prac- 
titioners of the trade were able to secure exemption from the 
military service, and employers to secure the discharge from 
the army of paper-making craftsmen who had enlisted in the 
flush of patriotic fervor. It was the scarcity of rags, however, 
here and everywhere, that caused the greatest difficulty to the 
paper makers, though in America, even in the most trying 
days of the Revolution, conditions seem never to have re- 
quired the drastic remedy once proposed in England : Mat- 
thias Koops, writing in 1801, suggested that "By an act of 
Parliament which prohibits under a penalty, the burial of 
the dead in any other dress than wool, may be saved about 
250,000 pounds weight of linen annually; which in other 
countries perish in the grave." In France, as early as 1727, a 
royal arret forbade the exportation of the materials of paper 
making from the kingdom, and six years later the prohibition 
was modified to permit the exportation of rags "en payant 
30 livres du cent pesant," an imposition that could hardly 
have given much encouragement to the exporter of this lowly 

Every newspaper of the period carried almost as a regular 
feature its appeal for rags to be used in the local paper mills ; 
in some cases bounties were offered for the largest collections 
brought in for sale. Indeed the appeal for rags in American 
newspapers during this and earlier periods of the eighteenth 
century forms a literature in itself, ranging from the grave 
to the gay, from the impassioned plea to the frenzied de- 
mand. The possibility of converting Beauty's petticoat or 
kerchief into paper for a billet-doux more than once gave the 
jocular rhymester opportunity for delightful improprieties. 

[ H4 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

The perennial naughty interest of the male in the intimate 
fripperies of the other sex found opportunity in the circum- 
stances of paper making for innocuous indulgence in print, 
and, occasionally, the opportunity for thin moralizing, as 
when one of Congreve's characters speaks of "a worn-out 
punk,— carrying her linen to the paper mill, to be converted 
into folio books of warning to all young maids." 

Coming closer home, we find matter that entertains us no 
less effectively than it did our ancestors of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. In the North Carolina Gazette for November 14, 1777, 
the owners reinforce the usual appeal for rags with the reflec- 
tion that "when the young Ladies are assured, that by send- 
ing to the Paper Mill an old Handkerchief, no longer fit to 
cover their snowy Breasts, there is a Possibility of its return- 
ing to them again in the more pleasing Form of a Billet 
Deaux from their Lovers, the Proprietors flatter themselves 
with great Success." 

One of the most pleasing of the advertisements is this in 
which Moses Johnson of Keene, New Hampshire, addressed 
the children of his community in the Cheshire Advertiser for 
March 22, 1792: 

"Moses Johnson, informs all little Misses, and others his 
Customers, that he receives all kinds of Cotton or Linen 
Rags, and flatters himself they will be encouraged to save 
them when they are informed l/^ lb. Rags will buy a Primer 
or a Story Book, one yard of Ribbon, two Thimbles, two 
Rings, twelve good Needles, two strings of Beads, one Pen- 
knife, nine rows of Pins — 4 lb. will buy a pair of handsome 
Buckles, or the famous History of Robinson Cruisoe, who 
lived 28 years on an uninhabited Island. My young friends 
will have a double advantage in buying this book, as they 

[ 145 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

will not only have the pleasure of knowing the life and sur- 
prising adventures of this renowned hero, but it will help 
them very much in learning to read, and perhaps give them 
a taste for history of larger extent and importance, such 
as geography, husbandry, revolutions of countries, &c— and 
for the encouragement of which, all kinds of Books and Sta- 
tionary will be sold at a much less advance than any oth- 
er Goods: good Writing-Paper for \od. per quire, Spelling 
Books, is. Bibles, $s 6. Watts's Psalms and Hymns 2s 6. 
Morse's Geography 4^ 6. and other Books equally cheap. 
All kinds of Country Produce received at the highest cash 
price. But indulge me my friends a little longer on the sub- 
ject of Rags. 

"Trifling as it may appear, the saving of Rags is really a 
matter of great consequence and importance to our country. 
I think parents would not do amiss, were they to give their 
children as much more for the Rags they saved as what they 
would sell for, and encourage them to lay it out in books, it 
would habituate them in their infancy to ceconomy, industry, 
neatness and study ; which are no small accomplishments, and 
would greatly recommend young ladies in particular, and 
help them to good husbands ; and this is not all, if one half of 
the Rags were saved, which are generally lost or thrown 
away, instead of importing, we should not only have enough 
for the use of our country, but might make it an article of 
exportation. It has often been remarked, that our seaports, 
and manufacturing and trading towns were quite too small 
for the country ; the consequence of which is, a dull and heavy 
market for provisions, &c. to remedy which, nothing would 
conduce more than encouragement given to our own manu- 

[ h6 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

"Twenty two Shillings in Cash, given for good Salts per 

Keene, March 21, 1792." 

Perhaps the most notable of these appeals for rags, be- 
cause the cleverest, is the poem that appeared in the Virginia 
Gazette for July 26, 1744, in which the writer urges the good 
people of Williamsburg to send their worn linen to Mr. 
Parks's paper mill. It was no rustic poetaster that composed 
these happy lines, extracted from the poem signed "J. Dum- 
bleton" : 

Ye Fair, renown'd in Cupid's Field 

Who fain would tell what Hearts you've killed ; 

Each Shift decay'd, lay by with care ; 

Or Apron rubb'd to bits at— Pray'r, 

One Shift ten Sonnets may contain, 

To gild your Charms, and make you vain ; 

One Cap, a Billet-doux may shape, 

As full of Whim, as when a Cap, 

And modest 'Kerchiefs Sacred held 

May sing the Breasts they once conceal'd. 

Nice Delia's Smock, which, neat and whole, 
No man durst finger for his Soul ; 
Turn'd to Gazette, now all the Town, 
May take it up, or smooth it down. 
Whilst Delia may with it dispence, 
And no Affront to Innocence. 13 

These fanciful effusions are, of course, the exceptional 
mode of appeal. The following excerpt from Hugh Gaine's 
newspaper, published in the days before he set up his own 
mill, may be taken as the normal advertisement inserted in 
his journal by the colonial printer on behalf of his paper 

[ 14- ] 

The Colonial Printer 

maker. Self-interest dictated the very closest relationship be- 
tween these associated businesses. 

"Linen Rags 

"Three Pence per Pound will be given for the best Sort of 
good, dry, clean Linen Rags, and so in Proportion for those 
of an inferior Quality — by Hugh Gaine." 

In 1765 this printer proposed a scale of premiums "for 
the further Encouragement of such poor Persons as are will- 
ing to employ themselves in procuring Rags." In accordance 
with this announcement, he was prepared to pay a bonus in 
addition to the cash value of the rags to persons bringing in 
the greatest annual quantity of the humble material needed 
for the making of paper. In the period 1735-1741, Franklin 
sold William and Gerard De Wees 55,476 pounds of rags, 
and William De Wees, Sr., 1546 pounds; in the included pe- 
riod 1736-1739, he sold Thomas Willcox 16,655 pounds of 
the same essential raw material. His payment, which seems to 
have been at the rate of 1^2 pence a pound, was frequently 
in kind, in paper and pasteboard, which he sold at retail to 
printers in distant colonies. In later years, Franklin's sales of 
rags to paper makers and his sales of paper to printers took 
on such proportions as to compel our recognition of him as a 
most important factor in the colonial paper trade. The sales 
of rags just mentioned, the sale to William Parks of more 
than 1 1,000 pounds in the period 1743—1747, the acceptance 
of payment in kind indicate that Franklin was, in a sense, the 
silent partner of these paper manufacturers. It does not sur- 
prise us to learn that in 1788 he told the French traveller 
Brissot de Warville that he had established about eighteen 
paper mills. Nor do we feel that he was making an idle claim 

[ 148 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

when he wrote Humphrey Marshall in 1771,"! . . . had a 
principal share in establishing that manufacture among us 
many years ago." 14 

As early as 1732, when Richard Fry was waiting in Boston 
for Samuel Waldo to build the paper mill at Falmouth, he 
occupied himself to good purpose. In an advertisement of 
that year, in which he describes himself as "Bookseller, Pa- 
per-Maker & Rag Merchant," he thanks the public for fol- 
lowing so well his directions in the collecting of rags that he 
had received "upwards of Seven thousand Weight already." 

Even in Pennsylvania, at a time when paper making had 
been a customary industry for nearly a hundred years, the 
need for cooperation between the printers and the public re- 
mained ever present. At one time we find that most notable 
of colonial institutions, the American Philosophical Society, 
bringing its influence to the succor of the local paper makers. 
On March 5, 1773, a committee was appointed "to confer 
with such persons in this City as are concerned in the Paper 
Manufactory on the most probable Means of firmly estab- 
lishing that branch of Business amongst us." At the meeting 
of two weeks later,"Robert Bell waited upon the Society, this 
Evening with a Plan for encouraging the Undertaking." 
From later developments we learn that Mr. Bell's plan was 
a variation of the ordinary appeal for rags, though it differed 
little from Hugh Gaine's proposal to the New York rag 
gatherers eight years earlier. A graduated series- of premiums 
was offered by the Society to encourage the saving and col- 
lecting of linen rags for the making of white paper. An elab- 
orate announcement, embodying the offer, appeared in the 
Pennsylvania Gazette for March 31, 1773, and certain Phil- 
adelphia printers, Messrs. Crukshank, Dunlap, Hall, Bell, 
and Humphreys subscribed the prize money. Two years later, 

[ H9 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

on March 19, 1775, we find Robert Bell proposing. to the So- 
ciety a new plan for the aid of an industry that had become 
of the utmost importance to the life of the recently united 
colonies. Everywhere the making of paper in this period 
brought about a valuable spirit of cooperation among all 
elements of the community. 10 

Treatises on Paper Making 

The interest of Robert Bell did not cease with the proposal 
of plans for the collection of rags. In 1777 appeared in Phila- 
delphia, bearing his imprint, a work known as Select Essays 
. . . Collected from the Dictionary of Arts and Sciences and 
from various modern Authors. Among the several treatises 
on the raising of flax and hemp, the making of linen, the man- 
agement of sheep and cows, and the culture of vegetables, is 
found an essay by the French physician Jean Etienne Guet- 
tard, entitled "An Enquiry Concerning the Materials that 
may be used in making Paper." Reprinted from a similar 
London collection of 1754, this treatise by Guettard stands 
as the first writing on the subject of paper making to come 
from the American press. 16 The omniscient Franklin was next 
to be heard from. In 1793, in the Transactions of the Ameri- 
can Philosophical Society, was published a communication 
by Franklin, read to the Society in 1788, with the title, "De- 
scription of the process to be observed in making large sheets 
of paper in the Chinese manner, with one smooth surface." 
This discussion of a process in paper-making technique by 
the aged Franklin seems to have been the only strictly Ameri- 
can contribution to the bibliography of paper making that 
appeared in the eighteenth century. 

It is a matter of interest that in 1719, a French scientist, 

[ 150 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

pointing to the American wasp as an accomplished maker of 
paper in his nest building, made the earliest suggestion of the 
possibilities of manufacturing paper from wood pulp. 17 

The Cost of Paper 

The average cost of ordinary printing paper of native man- 
ufacture seems to have lessened as the years advanced. Brad- 
ford arranged with Rittenhouse in 1697, as has been said, for 
the refusal of his whole output at 10 shillings sterling a ream, 
and in the Account Books of Franklin the normal price of 
printing papers in the period 1730-1747, when charged to 
himself or to other printers, was between 10 and 12 shillings 
currency for the same unit. Next to the labor charge, the 
annual expenditure for paper was the chief expense of the 
printer. In the eighteen years of the Franklin & Hall part- 
nership, the sum laid out for paper was £6360, or about 
£353 a year, representing, at 10 shillings a ream, an annual 
use by this firm of some 700 reams of paper. 18 It is no wonder 
that Hugh Gaine resented good money going at something 
like this rate from New York printing offices to the Pennsyl- 
vania mills, and no wonder, too, that the local American 
economists saw with satisfaction the growth of this impor- 
tant industry in all parts of the country. 


When Isaiah Thomas completed his census of paper mills 
in 1810, he recorded the result as follows: 

"From the information I have collected it appears that the 
mills for manufacturing paper, are in number about one hun- 
dred and eighty -five [sic for 195], viz: in 

[ 151 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

New Hampshire 




Rhode Island 






New York 








South Carolina 








In all other states & Territories 



The Paper Maker and the Printer 

One consequence of bringing together these fragments that 
relate to the origins of paper making in the colonies and to 
the relations of printers to that essential industry is the con- 
viction that the American printer had less cause for uneasi- 
ness in regard to his paper than in regard to his type or his 
presses. Certainly, in the middle colonies, the printing shops 
could be kept supplied by the Pennsylvania mills with the 
ordinary grades throughout the eighteenth century. New 
England, outside of Massachusetts, and the southern colo- 
nies, outside of Virginia, were less fortunate, perhaps, in that 
they were dependent upon longer voyages for their shipments 
during the greater part of the period, but in these sections, 
too, from the early days of the Revolution a locally made 
product relieved to some extent the printer's anxiety. The 

[ 152 ] 

The Paper of the Colonies 

insistent demand of the printer for a commodity for which 
no makeshift could suffice brought about a cooperation in 
every community between him and enterprising men of busi- 
ness that resulted in the building of one of the greatest in- 
dustries of the United States. 

[ 153 ] 


The Journeymen and Apprentices 
The Family Helpers 

THE colonial printer was frequently put to it to secure 
and hold a number of journeymen large enough for 
the proper conduct of his establishment. Usually he 
was a practical craftsman working at case and press with his 
own hands, and often his wife was sufficiently skilled to assist 
at the cases and in the lighter occupations of the office. The 
employment of women in the printing trade is not the least 
interesting human feature of the varied colonial scene. Many 
of the widows and female relatives of printers went further, 
indeed, than employment in a subordinate capacity and acted 
successfully as the managers of establishments left untended 
by the death of the master. Not too much emphasis should 
be placed upon the existence of this condition in the colonies, 
for the assumption by widows of the business of their hus- 
bands was the wholesome custom of the time rather than a 
peculiarity of the place. European and Spanish American im- 
prints abound in which la veuve or la viuda of a long-deceased 
craftsman is named as printer. Especially did this happen, of 
course, when the established good will of the business made 
its continuance worth while. None the less the practice was 
sufficiently general in the colonies to justify comment. The 
first Cambridge press seems to have been set to work by the 
widow of the Reverend Jose Glover; Dinah Nuthead and 
Anne Catharine Green in Maryland were accorded the privi- 
leges enjoyed under the local government by their deceased 
husbands; Anne Timothy succeeded her husband, Peter, as 
printer to the state of South Carolina; Ann Franklin was 

[ 154 ] 

The Journeymen and Apprentices 

the successor of her husband as Rhode Island's official print- 
er, in which employment she was afterwards joined by the 
son for whom she had preserved the business during a long 
minority. Clementina Rind carried on the busines of her 
husband in Williamsburg. Franklin has given immortality 
in the Autobiography to the effective conduct of the print- 
ing house of Lewis Timothy, of Charleston, by his Dutch- 
born widow, Elizabeth. Sarah Updike Goddard of Rhode 
Island was the backer and partner of her son; and Mary 
Katherine, her daughter, was her brother's assistant, part- 
ner, and stalking-horse until their quarrel and separation in 


Not all of the women here mentioned were practical print- 
ers. Mrs. Glover had only the association of ownership with 
the Cambridge press, and as Dinah Nuthead was unable to 
write her name, one can hardly think of her as exercising a 
practical usefulness in the shop, unless indeed, like the wife 
of Anthony Armbruester many years later, she showed her- 
self "a good worker at press." On the other hand, Ann Frank- 
lin is reputed to have engaged in difficult pieces of compo- 
sition and to have been assisted in it by her two daughters, 
who, Isaiah Thomas says,"were correct and quick compositors 
at case" and "sensible and amiable women" besides. Mary 
Katherine Goddard, we learn from the same source, was "an 
expert and correct compositor of types." There are to be 
found on record other instances of women compositors in suf- 
ficient number to make it certain that in reckoning the labor 
resources of the colonial printer the women of the family 
should be counted as a possibility he was not likely to over- 
look. At this time, indeed, the printing trade was still in the 
household stage of development, and it was not remarkable 
that the women of the family and the well-grown children 

[ 155 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

should be called upon for assistance in the routine of the 
shop. 1 

The Emigrant 

The second source from which the printer drew his as- 
sistance was the occasional immigration of trained journey- 
men, some of whom came to this country under the customary 
terms of indenture. Now and then, too, an adult indentured 
servant of no professional training was purchased by the 
printer and set to learn the trade. Keimer acquired the serv- 
ices of two such men, and the circumstance that the first of 
these, George Webb, was "sometime of Oxford" is one of a 
series of related facts not without significance in any discus- 
sion of the colonial labor problem. In Keimer's shop at the 
same time was the youthful Benjamin Franklin, a journey- 
man printer who had come to a knowledge of the trade 
through the regular avenue of apprenticeship. 

The Apprentice 

The chief source from which the colonial master printer 
drew his labor supply was, happily enough, the youth of the 
land. The apprentice was at once his despair and his eco- 
nomic salvation, and to secure a good boy for his service, he 
was willing sometimes to burden himself with an infant not 
long from the arms of his mother. Isaiah Thomas was in- 
dentured when only six years old. At that age, he bound him- 
self to avoid drunkenness and the pursuit of carnal enjoy- 
ment and to serve his master truly until he should attain the 
status of manhood. Franklin may be thought of as having 
been more fortunate than Thomas, inasmuch as the term for 
which he was indentured ran only from the twelfth to the 

[ 156 ] 

The Journeymen and Apprentices 

twenty-first year. Still more happily John Peter Zenger was 
bound to William Bradford only for the eight-year period 
between the ages of thirteen and twenty-one. 2 

Economic and social factors worked a slow alteration in 
the apprenticeship system in the printing trade, as in all other 
organized occupations. A century later than the period of the 
cases just cited we find the journeyman unions demanding a 
limitation of the number of apprentices that might be taken 
by a single master, and restricting the term of apprenticeship 
to the four or five years preceding the age of manhood. 3 It 
was the self-interest of the journeyman, though, rather than 
the welfare of the child, that brought about this more health- 
ful condition, and almost another century was to pass before 
the problem should be approached from the standpoint of the 
child and the race through the concepts of compulsory educa- 
tion and protective hygiene. It must not be thought, however, 
that the child apprentice went wholly without humane con- 
sideration even in the days when he could be bound to a 
master in infancy. In Maryland, to take a typical example, 
it was provided by an act of the Assembly as early as 1715 
that annually, in each county, an "Orphan Jury" be sum- 
moned to inquire "Whether the Orphans be kept, maintained 
and educated, according to their Estates'? And whether Ap- 
prentices are taught their Trade, or rigorously used, and 
turned to common Labour at the Axe or Hoe, instead of 
learning their Trades'?" If it should be found by this jury 
that any apprentices had not been properly instructed "upon 
Pretence that the last Year is enough to learn their Trade," 
they were to be removed to other masters and satisfaction 
given for the misuse of their time and labor. 

But though the statute books might abound in beneficent 
precautions of this character, the boy in the colonial printing 

[ 157 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

shop, as doubtless in other industrial establishments of the 
time, seems to have lived so laboriously and uncomfortably 
that the "wholesome meat and drink" prescribed in the in- 
denture did not compensate for the hard work and the menial 
service required of him. A runaway printer's apprentice, to 
judge from frequent newspaper advertisements and from 
other indications, must have been a commonplace figure of 
the colonial highways. Franklin, James Parker, and Isaiah 
Thomas were among the adventurers who did not scruple 
to violate their indentures and to escape from the servitude 
in which they had been placed by their parents. When such 
serious youths as these advanced to meet their destinies by 
way of the back door, it is no wonder that the masters were 
in constant difficulty because of runagates of the "idle ap- 
prentice" sort. 4 

Labor Scarcity 

Despite the general effectiveness of the apprenticeship 
system as a means of renewing the ranks of labor, there are 
many indications that journeymen printers were exceedingly 
scarce throughout the colonial period. They, and their mas- 
ters too, for that matter, were constantly on the move. A 
feature of the lives of the eminent printers of that day was 
their frequent removal in early manhood from one colony to 
another. Jonas Green, as journeyman and master, worked in 
three colonies; William Goddard in four; William Bradford 
and Franklin in two each, not counting their English so- 
journs; and William Parks at different times had establish- 
ments in three English towns and in Annapolis before he 
settled down for his last and most successful venture in 
Williamsburg. It was then, as in the fifteenth and in the 

* [ 158 i 

The Journeymen and Apprentices 

twentieth century, a footfree companionship, and if this was 
so with the masters it was even more the case with the journey- 
men. Because of the fewness of printing-house craftsmen, a 
restless journeyman could pick up jobs in any of the larger 
towns. One reason for the scarcity of labor was that the 
work of the shops was not sufficiently constant or sufficiently 
great in quantity to justify the master printers in training a 
great many apprentices or in bringing in many trained men 
from England. In his wage scale of 1754, Franklin writes, 
"Press Work, \2d per Token, Which is too much, if Press- 
men had constant Work, as Compositors: but in America, 
Numbers [i.e., size of editions] being generally small, they 
must often stand still, and often make ready." When, a few 
years earlier, Jonas Green wrote to Franklin, "I wish I could 
get another Hand," he was giving expression to a need com- 
mon enough in a period when the craft had not yet struck its 
pace as an organized industry. It was so easy for the master 
to find himself with too many journeymen for the amount of 
work on hand that he contented himself with the minimum 
number of workmen and used these often at the case, the 
stone, and the press. The existence of this condition in the 
smaller communities did not encourage the numerical growth 
of the body of printing craftsmen. It was probably this cir- 
cumstance as much as the motive of economy that led to the 
occasional employment of unskilled laborers at the press, a 
practice that one of the earliest societies of journeymen print- 
ers legislated against soon after its organization in 1802, 
when it provided that membership in the society should be 
contingent upon the applicant's having served an apprentice- 
ship satisfactory to the board of directors. 

[ 159 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

It must be recorded that scarcity was not the only difficulty 
with regard to labor that beset the printer. We find William 
Goddard advertising in his Maryland Journal, in 1773, that 
he "wanted Immediately, one or two sober Journeymen 
Printers who can and will work." Nicholas Classon, a printer 
serving out a term of indenture with Andrew Bradford, ran 
away and was followed by the execrations of his master and 
by an advertisement, in the American Weekly Mercury for 
June 13, 1728, offering a reward for his return. William 
Parks described a runaway in the Virginia Gazette for De- 
cember 12, 1745, as one who "makes Locks, and is dexterous 
at picking" them. Hugh Gaine was constantly advertising 
for journeymen, and offering unflatteringly small rewards for 
the return of runaways, one of whom he described as "pretty 
much pitted with the Small-Pox, wears his own hair and is 
much bloated by Drinking, to which he is most uncommonly 
addicted." One reads with varied emotions and divided sym- 
pathies the advertisement in the Maryland Gazette for May 
2, 1765, in which Joseph Royle, the Williamsburg printer, 
offered £5 reward for the apprehension of a runaway inden- 
tured servant, a bookbinder by trade, whom he pictures as 
"very thick, stoops much, and has a down look; he is a little 
Pock-pitted, has a Scar on one of his Temples, is much ad- 
dicted to Liquor, very talkative when drunk and remarkably 
stupid." Even this wastrel seems to have been able to cripple 
Royle's business to such an extent as to make its proprietor 
willing to pay £$ for the recovery of his person. Hours of 
labor and the rate of payment were questions that did not 
keep the colonial printer awake at night, but the restlessness, 
the inebriety, and the general scarcity of trained journeymen 

[ 160 ] 

The Journeymen and Apprentices 

counterweighed the immunity he enjoyed from the troubles 
that more particularly vexed his successors in the trade. 

Hours of Labor 

There seems to be little direct evidence as to the hours of 
labor that were the lot of the colonial journeymen. One can- 
not read Franklin's A utobiography without realizing that the 
hours were long and the wages something less than munifi- 
cent, though the journeyman printer, then as now, was one 
of the best-paid craftsmen of the community. In general it 
seems to have been the custom to regulate the hours of labor 
by the duration of daylight. Composition by candlelight was 
popular neither with printer nor with customer, though the 
same need for good light did not hold for the presswork. 
James Watson of Edinburgh has left us a statement as to 
the pressman's hours that is widely at variance with our mod- 
ern notions of a fair day of labor. In giving the reasons for 
the poor quality of Scottish printing of his time, he names as 
one of them "The little Esteem we have for Press-Men, and 
the narrow Prices given them." He continues, "The Dutch, 
who, it must be acknowledged, are the neatest Printers in the 
World, have different Thoughts of them: They give larger 
Wages to good Press-Men than to Compositors: They will 
not allow a Press-Man to work above Eight or Nine Hours 
in a Day, lest by working much he work not well. But here 
and in England, he that works Seventeen or Eighteen Hours, 
is reckon'd a choise Workman : And indeed there is a Neces- 
sity for working much, their Wages are so small ; . . . For my 
Part, I'd rather give a Crown a Day to a good Press-Man, 
who brings Reputation to my Work and preserves my Letter, 
then Eighteen Pence to one who must certainly destroy it by 

[ 161 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

careless and base Working." Doubtless the shorter duration 
of daylight in the latitude of the colonies effectively pre- 
vented the adoption of a working day of this length in the 
American establishments, and it is probable that the ten-hour 
day favored by the typographical societies of the early nine- 
teenth century was the normal working day of the earlier 
period. 5 


In a later chapter will be given in full the contents of a 
document in Benjamin Franklin's hand, found in the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society, entitled "Prices of Printing Work 
in Philadelphia, 1754." It will be interesting to examine here 
the section of this document which refers to journeymen's 
wages, assuming that what was true for Philadelphia at this 
period was relatively true for the other colonial printing 
centers : 

Journeymen's Wages 

For composing Sheet Work, 6 d a iooo Letters, to be reckoned by m's, an m laid on 
its Side being 2 Letters. 

-a /For composing an Advertisement or any such 

a ty. I small Job, in Quarto, Great Primer or 
-* « C \ Double Pica, — 6 d 
" a J ) Folio Ditto— i/ 

2 O iC ( 

o X u [Blanks, I Side of a Half Sheet, in English or 

=?-2 ^ / P ' ca > Pot or Pro PatrIa SIze > — I//6d 
g j* I And other Jobs proportionably, according to 
00 ' Size of Paper and Letter. 

Presswork, 12 d per Token, which is too much, if Pressmen had constant Work, as Com- 
positors; but in America Numbers being generally small, they must often stand still, and 
often make ready. 

For Jobs — An Advertisement, 60 No or 100, 6 d — and 6 d per 100 more. 
If Work makes less or more than even Tokens, all Numbers above 5 Quires to be reck- 
oned a Token ; all under, nothing ; i. e. 4 Token and 5 Quires is but 4 Token ; 4 Token and 
6 Quires, 5 Token, &c. 

Seeking material for comparison with the wages of later 
periods, we find that in 1799 the Franklin Typographical So- 

[ 162 ] 

The Journeymen and Apprentices 

ciety of New York demanded 25 cents a thousand ems as the 
rate of payment for compositors, virtually the same as the 
12 pence a thousand ems of the Philadelphia scale of 1754. 
In 1792, Andrews wrote to Thomas: "The devil seems to 
have got into the Journeymen, they want more than one shil- 
ling per token and I expect the next thing will be more than 
one shilling per thousand M's." 6 From these figures one 
learns that the wages of the American journeyman printer 
seem to have remained fixed during the second half of the 
eighteenth century. The sentence quoted from the Andrews 
letter, however, indicates the coming unrest, and in 1802, in 
the wage scale of the Philadelphia Typographical Society, 
the earliest printed scale proposed by an association of jour- 
neymen, we find enunciated the principle of the minimum 
wage for both classes of workmen and an advance definitely 
asked for in the pay of pressmen. The close of the period we 
are considering was also the beginning of a better day for the 
men who labored in American printing establishments. The 
new Philadelphia scale, set by the journeymen in 1802, reads 
as follows : 

Composition Dol. Cts. 

Per week, not less than 8 oo 

Every iooo m's, from Brevier to English, inclusive 25 

Common Rule or Figure work 50 

Press Work 

Per week, not less than 8 00 

All paper below medium, per token 30 

Ditto above medium 37/4 

Broadsides, per token 75 

Cards, per pack 12V2 

A single pack of cards 30 

All small jobs 30 

These wage scales of 1754 and 1802 give a fair indication 
of the journeyman printer's wages in Philadelphia and else- 
where, doubtless, during the second half of the eighteenth 

[ 163 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

century, and it is probable that there was not a notable dif- 
ference between these rates and those which prevailed in the 
earlier period. For a compositor in 1802 to earn his weekly 
minimum of $8 he must set 5400 ems of type a day for six 
days a week. A fairly competent compositor on book and 
pamphlet work could set 600 ems an hour, so that he could 
make his $8 a week by working at composition nine hours a 
day, and more by extending his hours of labor. On the nar- 
row-measure composition of newspapers he could work faster 
and earn considerably more. It must be remembered that the 
compositor must also distribute his type and that sometimes 
he must stand idle. In the nineteenth-century wage schedules 
he was allowed 15 cents an hour, the equivalent of the mini- 
mum wage just discussed, for this "lost time," and it is prob- 
able that a similar allowance was made him in the earlier cen- 
tury. In Franklin's list we observe that, in principle, the 
pressman is compensated for his lost time by the generosity 
of payment per token when he was at work. The pressman 
with an average of eight tokens a day at 30 cents a token 
must in normally busy times have earned more than the 
minimum required by this scale of 1802. 7 

Cost of Living 

The wages of day laborers are well known for almost the 
whole period of our history, and one observes that the ratio 
between the wages of the day laborer of 1754 and the jour- 
neyman printer of the same year was about as one to four. 
The relative condition of the day laborer has improved in the 
intervening years in comparison to that of mechanics. A gen- 
eral idea of the meaning of a given wage in the eighteenth 
century may be obtained from an examination of the cost of 

[ 164 ] 

The Journeymen and Apprentices 

commodities of the period. When an unskilled laborer in 
Massachusetts, for example, received an average of 31 cents 
a day in the period 1752—1760, he could buy a pound of beef 
for 0^/2 cents, a pound of pork for 8 cents, a pound of flour 
for 4 cents and a ten-pound turkey for 60 cents. In 1937 
working at $4 a day he must pay at least 35 cents a pound for 
his beef, 33 cents for his pork, 7 cents for his flour, and $4 
for a ten-pound turkey. It is probable that in 1752, no more 
than in 1937, was the laboring man accustomed to regale his 
family with turkey at Thanksgiving at a cost of two days' 
wages. For the rum which the laborer purchased in 1760 at 
1 1 cents a pint, he must now pay $ 1 at the least ; for his gas- 
oline he pays very much more than sole leather and energy 
cost him a century and a half ago. It is obvious that as his 
wages have increased his needs have increased, so that his 
margin of safety is probably not much greater now than in 
1760. The same relation holds good in the case of employers. 
It is almost impossible to compare the profits of a business in 
the household stage with the profits of the same business in 
the factory stage. The difference in the standards of living of 
the participants is too great. In 1760 the printer's son learned 
to set type ; today he goes to college. 8 

Organization of Labor 

The organization of labor existed only in germ in the 
colonial printing shops. There remained certain vestiges of 
the mediaeval craft guild in such terms as the "companion- 
ship," used to define the group of men of any town that made 
its living by working at press or case. The Company of 
Printers of Philadelphia, organized in 1794, was an associa- 
tion of employers and job printers of the kind that connects 

[ 165 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the merchant guilds of the Middle Ages with the employers' 
associations of the present day, but this organization did not 
include journeymen, nor was it formed in their interest. The 
English journeymen printers, however, had organized as 
early as 1666, when they proposed certain rules for the limi- 
tation of the number of apprentices and the employment of 
untrained journeymen, and everywhere there has always been 
a clannishness among printers, a jealousy of the "art and 
mystery" of their craft that predisposes them to close and 
effective organization. Doubtless, in America, there were oc- 
casions when temporary cohesion of the workmen of a town 
would force the master printers to heed their demands for 
improvement in wages and conditions. There occurred such 
an organization in New York in 1776, when the journeymen 
printers went on strike and forced an increase of wages from 
their employers. An attempt by the Philadelphia master 
printers, in 1786, to reduce the minimum earning to $5.83^ 
a week caused an organization to be formed among the jour- 
neymen that forbade its members to work for less than 
$6 a week and undertook to support any of the "brethren" 
who should be thrown out of employment by their refusal 
to work at lesser rates of payment. We have found An- 
drews writing to Isaiah Thomas, in 1792, that "the devil 
seems to have got into the Journeymen" of Boston in regard 
to wages. These instances are isolated in time and space 
though in general they occurred toward the end of the cen- 
tury. They do not indicate the existence of permanent jour- 
neymen organizations in the colonies, but they show that the 
principle of resistance by association and by the strike was 
well enough understood at this time, and doubtless under- 
stood and occasionally practised throughout the entire period 
of our interest. 

[ 166 ] 

The Journeymen and Apprentices 

The Typographical Society of New York, formed in 1 795 ; 
its successor, the Franklin Typographical Society of Jour- 
neymen Printers, formed in 1799; and the Philadelphia 
Typographical Society, organized in 1802, mark the begin- 
ning of those permanent organizations, or journeymen guilds, 
that soon were formed in every city for the protection of the 
workers in the trade. The merging of these societies into the 
National Typographical Association, in 1836, and the later 
formation of the National Typographical Union, in 1851, 
mark the arrival of a well-organized stage in economic his- 
tory so far as concerns the printing trade in the United States. 
The wage scales proposed by these early societies have al- 
ready been discussed. It seems worth while to quote here the 
address to the employers that introduces the scale proposed 
by the Philadelphia printers in 1802. Certainly trade union- 
ism came into this country with the manners of a lamb. 

Philadelphia, February 22, 1802 


"The 'Philadelphia Typographical Society,' take the lib- 
erty to furnish you with their List of Prices. We hope that we 
shall be indulged with at least a candid examination of our 
demands ... we presume you are not unacquainted with 
many of them. We would wish to be placed on a footing, 
at least, with mechanics . . . our wages have, in no instance, 
kept pace with them. We have the merit of not being the 
most dissatisfied, and in no one instance of demanding any- 
thing unjust. We have, in the following statement, confined 
ourselves to what a majority of the employers in this city 
give. Our object is, to have one uniform price established. In 
doing this, we shall act as men towards men ... no person 
will leave his employ until he has given a reasonable notice 

[ '67 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

... in return, we expect that your conduct towards us will 
be equally candid. Indeed, we cherish a hope, that the time 
is not far distant, when the employer and the employed will 
vie with each other, the one, in allowing a competent salary, 
the other, in deserving it. Under these impressions we sub- 
mit the following prices to your decision." 

Only a dozen years later, the tone of such communications 
had definitely changed. An examination of the constitutions 
of the early societies shows clearly enough the existence in 
the first quarter of the nineteenth century of the principles 
today emphasized by the International Typographical Un- 
ion ; that is, the right to demand the regulation of wages and 
hours of labor, objection to the employment of non-union 
men, and the necessity for the limitation of the number of 
apprentices. With these principles come to flower in 1815, it 
seems likely that they had been germinating in the preceding 
century of darkness for which we possess no illuminating 
records. 9 

[ 168 ] 


General Conditions of the Trade 
The Printer's Troubles 

IT was not only the labor difficulties spoken of in the pre- 
ceding chapter that kept the printer stretched on an un- 
easy bed ; there were certain unalterable conditions that 
made his task necessarily laborious in performance and un- 
certain in outcome. The lack of proper illumination gave 
him a short working day in the winter months, for though we 
recall Franklin's story of the "pied" form and the night of 
labor required to reset it, yet as a general thing composition 
by candlelight must have been difficult for the printer and 
unsatisfactory to the customer. In November, 1763, an act 
of the Maryland Assembly, after setting forth the fact that 
the "bad season" was approaching, allowed Jonas Green a 
month additional to the period formerly prescribed for the 
completion of the session laws. Furthermore the variety of 
accident known as an "act of God" was recognized by the 
Maryland legislators as an effective deterrent of industry in 
a pioneer country, for in the statutes of 1765, by which Green 
was ordered to have his government work completed by a 
specified time, it was also provided that the penalty should 
not be exacted were he to be "hindered by the Death of his 
Hands . . . , or by Sickness, or the unavoidable Accident of 
his Press breaking." 

Paper Scarcity 

Delays in the accomplishment of presswork, especially in 
the case of large books, were often caused by the necessity of 

[ >6 9 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

waiting for overdue ships with their consignments of paper. 
The printer was accustomed to set the matter of one or two 
signatures in pages, impose the forms, prove, correct, and 
print the pages immediately after revision. His small fonts 
made it impossible usually for him to hold matter in type 
until a book or even a good-sized pamphlet had been com- 
pleted, so that unless the several processes of setting, impos- 
ing, correcting, and printing a form could be carried out in 
immediate sequence, the work was liable to be held up. This 
condition would surely arise if delay should occur in the 
receipt of paper intended for the job in hand. In the case of 
large books, it was not always possible to secure in one ship- 
ment enough paper of the same make and weight for the 
whole job; accordingly the printer would set and print as 
much as he had paper for, distribute the type, store the fin- 
ished sheets, and go on with other work while waiting for the 
arrival of another consignment of the right sort of paper. In 
the preface to his New Version of the Psalms of David, print- 
ed by Jonas Green in 1756, the Reverend Thomas Cradock 
apologized for the four years that had elapsed since he had 
taken subscriptions for the book, explaining that he had been 
"twice disappointed of his Paper, and then thought it most 
expedient to wait a little longer for the advantage of new 
Types." In view of this extraordinary delay, we find no cause 
for astonishment in a later announcement by the reverend 
author that, because of the death of some of the original sub- 
scribers, he had remaining a few copies of his book for gen- 
eral sale. In replying to the chiding of the Board of Trade 
for his failure to transmit copies of Bacon's Laws of Mary- 
land, nearly four years in press, Governor Sharpe attrib- 
uted the delay to the slow importation of paper, and blamed 
specifically Mr. Anthony Bacon, the compiler's great mer- 

[ 170 ] 

General Conditions of the Trade 

chant brother in England, for neglecting to put the desired 
reams on the ship at the proper time. 1 

Small Supplies of Type 

An apology for errors, based on "the author's distance 
from the press," is a feature often encountered in books of 
the eighteenth and earlier centuries. When we take into con- 
sideration the procedure of the printer of those days, it is 
easy to understand that this was not a mere formal apology. 
The author of a book of any size never held in his hand the 
entire set of proof sheets of his work before it went to press. 
If he lived near the press, he might see proofs, in page form, 
of course, one or two sheets at a time, at some stage between 
composition and printing; if he lived at a distance, he must 
perforce leave proof reading and correction to the printer or 
to some convenient friend. In neither case could he make 
changes in the first chapter suggested by his re-reading in 
proof of the third chapter, for by the time he received the 
third chapter, the first part of the book would be printed, the 
sheets stored, and the type distributed for use in succeeding 
sections. Understanding of the conditions under which the 
printing was done explains and, in a measure, palliates the 
publication of long lists of errata in many books of the pe- 
riod. 2 

There were other possible misfortunes that the American 
printer might count upon as risks of his trade. In the section 
of this book devoted to type founding, reference has been 
made to the embarrassment that might come to a printer from 
the lack of sorts in his cases, and we have seen that Weyman 
was tempted to give up the printing of the Mohawk Book of 
Common Prayer because, as he said, he had not "the Com- 

[ 171 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

mand of a Letter Makers founding-House" to supply him 
with the unusual number of certain letters needed in the 
composition of a book in an Indian language. Type was ex- 
pensive and not always easy to come by, and the good crafts- 
man must often have been saddened by the contemplation of 
pages printed in worn and unlovely letter that circumstances 
forced him to deliver to his customers. The small fonts he 
possessed compelled him to a ceaseless shifting of men and 
materials, and, in general, the forces of nature and the dis- 
tance from the great manufacturing centers of England and 
the Continent were essential factors in the reckoning of the 
early American printer. When John Holt was appealing in 
1778 for aid from the New York Assembly in the rehabilita- 
tion of the printing house partially destroyed by the British 
at Kingston, he asserted that he was ready to use his press, 
save "for want of a Blanket, which I have, without Effect, 
used my utmost Endeavours to obtain." In a pioneer country 
so small a thing as a felt pad could affect the prosperity of 
an establishment dependent upon the production of skilled 
specialist manufacturers. 3 

Bad Weather 

The printer who was also the publisher of a newspaper had 
editorial difficulties of an unpleasant kind. The coming in of 
winter with frozen waterways and impassable roads fre- 
quently forced him to reduce the size of his journal for sheer 
lack of news to fill it. On January 14, 1768, Anne Catharine 
Green apologized to the readers of the Maryland Gazette in 
these words: "As the Northern Post is not yet arrived, and 
the Southern One brought no Mail; and our Rivers, at the 
same time being frozen up, by which we are prevented receiv- 

[ 172 ] 

General Conditions of the Trade 

ing any Articles of Intelligence from the different parts of the 
Province, we hope we shall stand excus'd for this Single Half 
Sheet." Jonas Green was constantly being written to by in- 
dignant correspondents who complained of the lateness of his 
news, most of it in the form of "exchanges" from Northern 
and English newspapers, and of the dreariness of the excerpts 
from polite and improving literature with which he filled the 
space that, poor man, he must have wished most earnestly to 
see occupied by news and by advertisements at 5 shillings 
each the first week, and 1 shilling a week thereafter. 


The tribulations of the printer in his relations with the 
colonial governments were probably not so irksome as we are 
accustomed to believe because of our mental habit of con- 
cluding that one swallow makes a summer. The censorship of 
the press in English America seems to have arisen from three 
separate causes : interference by the English government, by 
the local authorities, and by an offended public. The most 
frequent instances of interference came about through the 
second of these causes, for the local governments — governor, 
officials, and both houses of assembly — were extremely sensi- 
tive to printed criticism, then a relatively new form of pro- 
test. Indeed, the inhibition of the Nuthead press in Virginia, 
in 1683, Dv r °y a l instruction, is the only recorded instance in 
which the English authorities interfered directly with an 
American printer, and even in this case the action was insti- 
gated by the local government. The order of the King in 
Council on this occasion, as formulated to the outgoing gov- 
ernor, that "no person be permitted to use any press for print- 
ing upon any occasion whatsoever" was completely effective 

[ 173 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

so far as Virginia was concerned, even though in the instruc- 
tions to another governor sent to that colony in 1690 the 
sense of this inhibition was radically modified. Henceforth, 
instructions to governors read in effect as had those sent in 
1686 to Dongan of New York by James II : ". . . you are to 
provide by all necessary Orders that noe person keep any 
press for printing, nor that any book, pamphlet or other 
matters whatsoever bee printed without your especial leave & 
license first obtained." In these phrases, the royal authorities 
recognized the press in America even before the inhibitions 
against its use in England, outside of London, York, and the 
Universities, had been removed by the expiration of the Par- 
liamentary press restriction act in 1693. ^ n tne matter of 
control, however, the responsibility was placed directly upon 
the governor, and to this fact may be traced the state of 
wholesome fear of local authority in which the printer of the 
period had his being. 

The trial of William Bradford before the Philadelphia 
magistrates in 1693 presents the only recorded case in which a 
clause of the Parliamentary press restriction act was brought 
forward by the prosecution. When the Quaker judges charged 
him with having printed a pamphlet to which he affixed nei- 
ther his name nor the place of publication, his defender, 
George Keith, reminded them, with triumphant sarcasm, that 
of all men in England the Quakers had been the worst of- 
fenders against this provision of the act. Bradford was held 
in prison, but his opponents failed to convict him upon this 
specific charge or upon any other charge in the indictment. 

It was perhaps in Massachusetts that the printer and the 
local governments came into most frequent conflict, for there 
the situation was complicated by religious, social, and moral 
factors not present in the constitutions of other colonies. The 

[ 174 ] 

General Conditions of the Trade 

apprehension of publications that might disturb the harmony 
of Church and State led, in October, 1662, to the passage of 
an order by the General Court to the effect "that henceforth 
no copie shall be printed but by the allowance first had & ob- 
tained under the hands of Capt Daniel Gookin & M r Jona- 
than Mitchel, until this Court shall take further order there- 
in." One of the motives underlying this action by the Court 
was the memory of the situation in which it had found itself 
in regard to John Eliot's Christian Commonwealth upon the 
restoration of Charles II. That work, published in London 
in 1659, contained constitutional theories based upon an ex- 
treme conception of the idea of popular sovereignty, and 
fearing that the restored monarch would think this a gen- 
erally held New England doctrine, the Court suppressed the 
book and forced Eliot to make an acknowledgment of error. 
It is not the most creditable of episodes, but a great deal of 
water had gone under the local bridges since the beheading 
of Charles I, and opinion had sincerely begun to question the 
extreme republicanism of ten years before. 

At any rate this was the beginning of a censorship in Mas- 
sachusetts that was more severe and more continuously irk- 
some than the casual and sporadic efforts of the other colonies 
to keep the press within bounds. It resulted, among other 
things, in the suppression, in 1690, of Publick Occurrences, 
the first American newspaper; in the altering in 1669 of an 
edition of the Imitation of Christ; in the prohibition about 
1668 of a rowdy but amusing piece, The Isle of Pines. It 
brought about in 1695 the suppression and burning of Thom- 
as Maule's Truth held forth ; in 1723, the persecution of John 
Checkley; the departure from Boston of James Franklin in 
1727 and of Daniel Fowle in 1756, and the consequent estab- 
lishment of the press in the colonies of Rhode Island and New 

[ 175 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Hampshire. The censorship in Massachusetts was, in fact, a 
very real thing. The first effective questioning of its justice 
came through the trial of Thomas Maule in 1696 for the pub- 
lication of his Truth held forth. In his examination of the 
Maule trial and its attendant circumstances, Matt Bushnell 
Jones wrote by way of summary: "it must be conceded that 
the Salem Quaker won the first victory for freedom of the 
press in America under conditions that reflect great credit 
upon the puritan jury that set him free." The whole question 
of censorship in the Bay Colony has been treated fully and 
thoughtfully by C. A. Duniway in his work, The Develop- 
ment of the Freedom of the Press in Massachusetts. 

More widely known than any of the causes celebres which 
arose in Massachusetts, and wider reaching in its effects, was 
the trial for libel of John Peter Zenger in New York, in 
1735. One of the concluding paragraphs of Livingston Ruth- 
erfurd's John Peter Zenger, his Press, his Trial states con- 
cisely the importance of the Zenger trial in the growth of a 
free press in the colonies, in the words: "The trial of Zenger 
first established in North America the principle that in prose- 
cution for libel the jury were the judges of both the law and 
the facts. The liberty of the press was secure from assault and 
the people became equipped with the most powerful weapon 
for successfully combating arbitrary power, the right of free- 
ly criticizing the conduct of public men, more than fifty years 
before the celebrated trial of 'Junius' gave the same privilege 
to the people of England." 

The exercise of censorship, indeed, was a feature of the 
age rather than of the place, and even before the Zenger trial, 
the cautious printer of the colonies found a relatively light 
restriction placed upon his activities. The most brutal official 
interference with the person and rights of a printer on record 

[ 176 ] 

General Conditions of the Trade 

in this country is the persecution of Anthony Haswell of 
Vermont that occurred in the year 1799, in a period sup- 
posedly more enlightened than that in which the colonial 
printer lived and worked. As long as the printer of the col- 
onies executed his work correctly and, in the vulgar phrase, 
kept a civil tongue in his head, he was free from interference 
and sure of profitable patronage. It was easy, however, to 
make a slip; the printer realized that always raised above 
him was the governor's arm, and it may not be doubted that 
the necessity for watching its movements was another of the 
conditions of his trade which kept him thin while other 
burghers grew portly at their ease. 

If the truth be told, the printer had more to fear from 
the unruly people who surrounded him than from the gov- 
ernment. It has never been regarded as good taste to differ 
politically from one's neighbors, and in Revolutionary Amer- 
ica the editor who was suspected of loyalist sympathies or of 
"defeatism" went in fear of the mob's indignation. Riving- 
ton's New York establishment was wrecked in 1775 by a 
band of patriots, and the Whig Club of Baltimore twice sub- 
jected William Goddard to violence. The triumph of God- 
dard over his persecutors, when he was upheld by the Assem- 
bly of the State, marked the removal of the last barrier to 
complete liberty of speech for American newspapers. 4 

The Printer's Compensations 

Hitherto this discussion of the general conditions of the 
trade from the standpoint of the master printer has dealt 
with some of the obvious difficulties that he was compelled 
to meet and overcome in the prosecution of his business. We 
turn now to the pleasanter task of showing that the printer's 

[ *77 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

trade in this period had its compensations in the form of good 
profit from newspaper publication and from job work, and 
in the satisfaction he derived from holding a position of in- 
fluence in his community. 

Charges for Printed Work 

We begin with the staple of the colonial printing office, 
the blank form. In the year 1700 the Maryland Assembly 
passed an ordinance which required that all forms used in the 
courts and in government business generally be printed on 
the press controlled by William Bladen and sold at the fixed 
price of one penny each for the writs and other short forms, 
and twopence each for longer papers of the letters testamen- 
tary class. These prices seem to be somewhat higher than the 
prices charged by Franklin in the period 1730-1735, but 
Franklin's charge was a wholesale price fixed by competition 
rather than by governmental ordinance. 5 More than half a 
century later we find that the price for similar articles in 
Pennsylvania had changed very little, even though in the 
later period the sums are stated in colonial currency. An ex- 
amination of the Work Book of Franklin & Hall shows that 
in the years 1759 to 1763 this firm was charging its customers 
slightly less than a penny each for such pieces as advertise- 
ments, lottery tickets, and enlistment forms, in lots of 200 to 
500. For blank forms with their more difficult composition 
the price was nearer a penny-halfpenny each in lots of a simi- 
lar or larger size. Composition was the expensive feature then 
as now. For small orders the prices per piece were propor- 
tionately higher, but in making the comparison it must be 
remembered that while the Maryland price of 1700 is a retail 
price stated in sterling money, the Philadelphia charge of 

[ 178 ] 

General Conditions of the Trade 

1 760 is given in local currency, then exchangeable with Eng- 
lish money at a premium of seventy per cent. With this qual- 
ification in mind, the Philadelphia printing of the later 
period seems to be slightly less costly than that of the Mary- 
land office of 1 700. 

The prices for book printing at different periods are also 
ascertainable. In the year 1662, Samuel Green, working part 
of the time alone and the remainder of the time with the help 
of Marmaduke Johnson, was paid an average price of 60 
shillings a sheet for printing forty-six sheets of the Eliot In- 
dian Bible. Green did not own the press or letters he used in 
the work, nor did he supply ink or paper, so that to all intents 
this sum was wages for the labor of himself and his assistant. 
Viewed in this light, 60 shillings sterling seems a high charge 
for composition and presswork on a single sheet in quarto, but 
when it is remembered that the page was set in bourgeois or 
nine point type, in double column, in a language unknown to 
the compositor, and that the rate of progress with two men at 
work was but a sheet a week, this payment does not continue 
to seem extraordinarily high. When the Corporation for Prop- 
agating the Gospel, in the preceding decade, was having the 
Eliot Indian Tracts printed in London, the charge, less pa- 
per averaged 40 shillings a sheet in quarto, printed in a larger 
type, in the English language. 

In the year 1726, William Parks was allowed 20 shillings 
sterling a sheet by the Maryland Assembly for the printing 
of its journals, and calculations that need not be repeated 
here indicate that this was the rate of his remuneration in 
later years when he was given a per diem of 100 pounds of 
tobacco for the same service throughout the sessions of As- 
sembly. The journals in question were printed in small folio, 
in the English language, in pica or twelve point type, in 

[ 179 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

editions doubtless under 500 copies, so that his lesser rate of 
payment seems justly proportioned to the task and payment 
of Green and of the London printer whose charges have been 
mentioned. Parks was the owner of his equipment, but it is 
probable that the paper for this particular task was provided 
by the Assembly. 

In the period 1730-1735, Franklin was being paid 26 shil- 
lings a sheet by the Pennsylvania Assembly for the printing 
of its journals, and 25 shillings a sheet for the laws. These 
volumes were in folio, but his charge for printing Arscot's 
Some Considerations Relating to the Present State of the 
Christian Religion, in small octavo, was also 26 shillings a 
sheet. It is difficult to understand why the Arscot book with 
its greater amount of composition and greater difficulty of 
imposition should not have been charged at a higher rate than 
that which seemed reasonable for the folio laws and proceed- 
ings. Other books of this period were charged uniformly in 
the Franklin accounts at 25 or 26 shillings a sheet, apparently 
without regard to format. This practice prevailed in the Lon- 
don shops at an even later day, but it will be seen that with 
the passing years Franklin arrived at a method of fixing 
prices that seems more equitable to the printer. 6 

Franklin's Scale of Charges and Wages 

It is possible to speak with greater certainty of the Ameri- 
can printer's prices and charges a generation later. There is 
given below the whole of a document found in the American 
Antiquarian Society from which a portion was quoted in the 
preceding chapter. This paper, in the hand of Benjamin 
Franklin and endorsed by Isaiah Thomas, runs as follows : 

[ »8o ] 

General Conditions of the Trade 

Prices of Printing Work in Phila a 1754. 
Books per Sheet 

Compute Journeymens' Wages at Press and Case, treble the Sum, and that is the Price 
per Sheet for the Work. If you find Paper, allow yourself at least 10 per Ct in the Price of it. 
For Pamphlets of 3 Sheets, and under, 'tis best to agree at so much a Piece. Compute the 
Price by the above Rules, add the Paper, then add for folding and stitching 6 d per Quire; 
divide the whole Sum by the Number to be done, and if the Cost of each Book be above 3 d, 
call it 3 d l /z ; if above 3 d y?, call it 4 d, &c. and fix the retail Price at J4 or a 3d more, as 
may be found most convenient. 

Single Advertisements, of a moderate Length, 5/— In the Gazette, small and middling 
Advertisements at 3/ the first Week, and 1/ per Week after, or 5/ for 3 Weeks. Longer 
ones to be valued by Comparison with the foregoing; as if 20 Lines be a middling Adver- 
tisement, Price 5/ for 3 Weeks, one of 30 will be 7/ '6d, &c. judging as near as you can, by 
the Sight of the Copy, how much it will make. 

Blanks for Offices, J4 Sheets, No 300 and upwards, Printing I d a Piece. 

Broadsides Ditto 2 d a Piece 

Hatters Bills 25/ per 1,000 

Paper Money 1 d per Pound, besides Paper and Cuts. 

Party-Papers, Quadruple Journeymens' Wages. 

Bills of Lading 6/ per Quire 

Apprentices Indentures 8 d a Pair, 6/ per Doz 

Bonds 4 d Single, 3/ per Doz. 5/ per Quire 

Bills of Sale 3 d — 2/3 d per Doz 

Powers of Attorney 4 d — 3/ per Doz 

Portage Bills 8 d each. 

Journeymen's Wages 

For composing Sheet Work, 6 d a 1000 Letters, to be reckoned by m's, an m laid on its 
Side being 2 Letters. 

-a _ /For composing an Advertisement, or any such 
c ©, I small Job, in Quarto, Great Primer or 
j* « £ \ Double Pica, — 6 d 
" 3 J ) Folio Ditto — 1/ 

oK ^ \ Blanks, 1 Side of a Half Sheet, in English or 
3J3 °" / Pica, Pot or Pro Patria Size, — i/6 d 
E _>» I And other Jobs proportionably, according to 
> Size of Paper and Letter. 
Presswork, 12 d per Token, which is too much, if Pressmen had constant Work, as Com- 
positors; but in America Numbers being generally small, they must often stand still, and 
often make ready. 

For Jobs — An Advertisement, 60 No or 1 00, 6 d — and 6 d per 1 00 more. 
If Work makes less or more than even Tokens, all Numbers above 5 Quires to be reck- 
oned a Token; all under, nothing; i. e. 4 Token and 5 Quires is but 4 Token; 4 Token and 
6 Quires, 5 Token, &c. 

[ 181 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
A Franklin Charge Analyzed 

Fortunately this list of charges and wages is not the only 
knowledge we possess of the business end of the Franklin 
establishment. The entries in the Work Book of Franklin & 
Hall, already referred to in this chapter, show us the prac- 
tical application of these price schedules to the finished work 
of the office at almost the same period. It is proposed to ex- 
amine here a typical entry of this sort which illuminates our 
immediate problem and adds facts of interest to what is al- 
ready known of a once important American pamphlet. 

Under date of July 16, 1764, we find the following entry 
in the Franklin & Hall Work Book : 

Thomas Ringold Esq — Dr. 

To Printing Remarks upon a Message sent by the Upper to the Lower House of 

Assembly of Maryland 500 copies making 4 J/2 Sheets at 50/ [a] Sheet 11- 5-0 

To 5 Reams & 5 Quires of Paper for Do. at 14/ 3-14—0 

To folding and Stitching Do 2— O—o 

To Box for Ditto 7—6 

[17- 6-6] 

According to the first clause of the schedule given above, 
the 50 shillings a sheet that Franklin & Hall charged Thomas 
Ringold for the pamphlet represented a labor cost of about 
17 shillings and a gross profit to the printer of 33 shillings 
for each of the four and a half sheets. When we add to this 
the 7 shillings that represent the ten per cent profit taken by 
the printer on the cost of the paper, we find that he took from 
this job a gross profit of something like £8. If office time, 
rent, lost time of workmen, deterioration of equipment, and 
other overhead charges reduce this amount to £6, his net gain 
on what must have been a typical pamphlet job was roughly 
thirty-five per cent, on the face of it a comfortable enough 
profit. The customer, too, was probably satisfied, for the neat- 

[ 182 ] 

General Conditions of the Trade 

ly printed pamphlet of some seventy-two pages, folded and 
stitched, cost him only 83^ pence currency a copy. 

Other Cases Discussed 

One may not assume that this percentage of profit was 
maintained everywhere and for a long period, but the knowl- 
edge of its possibility lends interest to the examination of any 
printer's bill of the colonial period encountered by the in- 
vestigator. In the spring of 1765, James Parker moved a 
press from New York to Burlington, New Jersey, principally 
for the purpose of printing Samuel Smith's History of New 
Jersey, fulfilling a promise to the author made seven years 
earlier. The work required some six months to accomplish, 
and as Parker was doing little other work at the time, either 
at Woodbridge or in Burlington, we cannot think of him as 
becoming wealthy from the conduct of his trade, though his 
charges for printing and for paper seemed well abreast with, 
and even somewhat ahead of, current printing prices. Doubt- 
less the extraordinary circumstances, that is, the bringing of 
a printing establishment to an author instead of the more rea- 
sonable general practice, justified the charges in the follow- 
ing bill for 600 copies of a work in octavo, in type of pica size : 

Samuel Smith Esqr to J. Parker Dr. 

1765 To printing 36^ sheets of History at £3 £110:5:0 
To 54 Ream of Paper for the above at 20/ 54:0:0 

Credit: By Cash received (I think) 1 10 

Received April 19, 1766. the full Balance of the above 
Account pr. James Parker. 

[ 183 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

The following bill presented by Timothy Green to the 
Connecticut Assembly for printing the collected laws of 
1784 has a similar quality of interest. His charge of 40 shill- 
ings Connecticut currency or 28 shillings sterling for a sheet 
in folio, four pages to the sheet, seems somewhat higher than 
Franklin's charge of 50 shillings Pennsylvania currency or 
30 shillings sterling for a sheet printed in octavo less than 
a generation earlier. It is to be observed that the paper cost 
in this post-war period had risen from 14 to 20 shillings a 
ream, an increase not fully accounted for by a difference in 
quality or by the nearness of Franklin to the paper-making 
center of the country. 

State of Connecticut 
To Timothy Green, Dr 

To printing 505 Copies of the late revised Laws, consisting of 70 & 

l /z Sheets each, @ 40/ 
To folding and inserting the same 
To Abel Buell's Bill for engraving the State Arms 
To Cash paid for Copper for the same 

To 84 Reams and a half of Paper, for printing said Book, @ 20/ 
To 25 Reams and a quarter ditto, for Blank Paper at the End of the 

Book, @ 12/ 
To cash paid for Freight of 1 10 Reams of Paper @ 3d 
To finding Materials, and binding 505 Books, @ 5/ 
To Cash paid for transporting 42 of said Law Books to the Assembly, 

in May last 
To lettering 5 Books on the Back, @ 9d 
To four Boxes made for transporting said Books 
To Cash paid for Truckage, at sundry Times 
To Cash paid for Freight and Storage 

C By an Order drawn in favour of Col. George Pitkin 

Balance due £337 3 o 

Errors excepted. 
Timo. Green. 

[ 184 ] 












7 6 





3 9 




3 9 





General Conditions of the Trade 

The foregoing cases, taken from widely separated periods 
of the era, seem to indicate that at no time in North America 
were printing charges notably different from those which 
prevail in the trade at the present day. 7 

English and American Charges 

Opportunity for comparison of these prices with those 
charged by English printers of the mid-eighteenth century is 
afforded by an entertaining and valuable contribution by 
Mr. R. A. Austen Leigh to The Library for March, 1923, 
entitled "William Strahan and his Ledgers," especially 
pages 280—284. From such comparison one learns that, in 
general, printing charges in the colonies were distinctly high- 
er than in London. A sheet of octavo in Philadelphia in 1764, 
as we have seen, cost the customer 50 shillings currency or, 
roughly, 30 shillings sterling. A similar sheet is charged in 
London in the same period at 20 or 23 shillings sterling. 
Green's Connecticut laws of 1784 in folio, straight composi- 
tion, were charged at 40 shillings a sheet, which at the value 
of the Connecticut currency of that period meant 28 shillings 
sterling. Johnson's folio Dictionary of 1755, in double col- 
umn, difficult composition in two different sizes of type, cost 
its promoters, we learn from Strahan's ledgers, only 38 shil- 
lings sterling a sheet. 

It could hardly have been the item of wages, as sometimes 
taken for granted, that was responsible for the greater prices 
charged the consumer by the American printer. The evidence 
presented in the preceding chapter seems to show that from 
1754 until the close of the century, the American compositor 
was paid at the rate of sixpence currency a thousand letters. 
During a part of this period, the remuneration of the English 

[ 185 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

compositor was fourpence sterling for the same service, a sum 
almost invariably equal to, or greater than, sixpence in colo- 
nial currency at the prevailing rates of exchange. In 1785, 
the English compositor's remuneration was increased to four- 
pence halfpenny a thousand letters, 8 and with this change the 
payment of the English compositor became actually larger 
than that of his American contemporary by nearly a penny a 
thousand letters. If a similar relationship existed in the wages 
of pressmen, we must look further for an explanation of the 
American printer's charges. Perhaps it may be found that a 
greater volume of business, a firmer market, and a better or- 
ganization of the craft enabled the English printer to take a 
smaller profit from the individual job than the printer of the 
American towns was compelled to do in order to make a liv- 
ing. Or, it may be that the more active competition of the 
London trade kept the English printer's charges at a lower 
level than that which prevailed in the colonies. 

The Franklin & Hall Partnership 

If we may judge from the case of the Franklin & Hall 
partnership, printing in America was a reasonably profitable 
trade. The partnership account of this firm for the eighteen 
years 1748 to 1766 shows that the principal partner received, 
when his share of operating expenses had been deducted, the 
sum of £8414 sterling. This yearly income of £467 sterling 
resulted from a half share in an establishment of which the 
operating equipment, at the conclusion of the partnership, 
was valued at only £i84- 9 The reputation of Franklin as a 
printer and his position in colonial politics brought an excep- 
tional amount of business to this firm, even though its senior 
partner was only intermittently active in its affairs. These fig- 

[ 186 ] 

General Conditions of the Trade 

ures cannot be taken as typical, therefore, but there is other 
evidence that the colonial printer found himself in a business 
in which industry, enterprise, and reasonably good crafts- 
manship were rewarded normally by a decent living if only 
rarely by large monetary return. 

The Position of the Printer 

In the colonial town of the earlier period and in the smaller 
towns always, the position of the printer was distinctly one 
of importance based upon responsibility. It depended, of 
course, upon the personality and ability of the individual 
whether or not he was able to enjoy the rewards his position 
offered in the form of social and political esteem, but poten- 
tially, at least, both these were in its gift. Various circum- 
stances combined to make his shop a civic center. To begin 
with, as the largest and most regular patron of the post, he 
found himself almost as a matter of course the postmaster of 
his community. To the door of the printing office came the 
post rider with his mails, and on the heels of this exciting 
personage came the citizen for his private letters, the official 
for his instructions, and the merchant for his remittances or 
for the latest "prices current" from the larger centers of trade 
—all of them, once their personal mail had been received, 
eager to learn what news of the outside world had come to 
the printer through his "exchanges" from New York, Phila- 
delphia, or Boston. Inevitably under these conditions the 
printing office became one of the focal points of the town's 
life, a place of congregation and of interchange of gossip, and 
it is not matter for surprise that the enterprising printer took 
advantage of the coming and going of his neighbors to con- 
duct on the premises a shop for the retailing of stationery, 

[ 187 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

small groceries, and notions. Thomas Short of Connecticut 
was prepared to sell books, ink-horns, pins, thread, sealing 
wax, thimbles, fans, ivory combs, flints, sugar, ginger, and 
indigo. Andrew Bradford of Philadelphia once called atten- 
tion to a curiously unclassified stock in the form of whale- 
bone, live goose feathers, pickled sturgeon, chocolate, and 
Spanish snuff. Hugh Gaine sold patent medicines, flutes, and 
fiddle strings. Many of the printers bound books; most of 
them bought rags for the paper mill; all of them acted as 
agents for distant advertisers. The vestry, the club, and the 
town meeting knew the printer as clerk or registrar. Some- 
times, with ready tongue he acted as auctioneer at the local 
vendues, and occasionally his voice was heard from the pul- 
pit. He placed himself where local news was being made, or 
where news from other places could be most readily obtained, 
and in general, he served his own interests by participating in 
a variety of activities in the public behalf. Not all printers 
were fitted to take advantage of the opportunities thus pre- 
sented, but as the century progressed, the conditions seemed 
to produce a type— men like the Greens of Connecticut and 
Maryland, John Carter of Providence, Isaiah Thomas of 
Worcester, William Bradford and Hugh Gaine of New York, 
Franklin and the Bradfords of Philadelphia, William God- 
dard of Providence, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, the Timo- 
thys of Charleston, and William Parks of Williamsburg. 
These and a few others were the great printers of their times ; 
in varying degrees they were also important, if not always 
eminent, among the citizens of their respective communities. 

[ 188 

General Conditions of the Trade 
The Printer in Politics 

The importance of the printer in the political life of his 
colony needs little comment besides the reminder that as pub- 
lisher of the newspaper he was also in early days its editor. 
In spite of his usual claim to non-partisanship, he was a hu- 
man being with opinions, business and social affiliations, and 
an open eye for the main chance. The actions of the royalist 
printers in the years just before the Revolution, the actions 
of various printers in various local crises, show that it needed 
only a cause of importance to bring the printer into line on 
one side or the other of the existing contention. His journal- 
istic influence was not exercised openly, as it is today, through 
the expression of editorial opinion — he maintained his show 
of a free press too well for that — but in the suppression of 
news, in the closing of his columns to the political articles of 
the opposition, or in the refusal to print pamphlets or broad- 
sides inimical to the cause he favored. In 1732, the unpopu- 
lar cause of the established clergy of Maryland represented 
by the Reverend Jacob Henderson was forced to seek expres- 
sion in Philadelphia in the columns of the American Weekly 
Mercury and in pamphlets printed in that city, rather than 
through the medium of the press of Annapolis. A generation 
later, the Reverend John Camm of Virginia, pleading a sim- 
ilar case, found himself compelled to take his pamphlet to 
Annapolis for printing because Royle, the Williamsburg 
printer, refused its publication on the ground of its "Satyr- 
ical Touches upon the Late Assembly." It may mean all or 
nothing that in both these cases the chief opponents of the 
reverend authors were the leading men of their respective 
colonies, in the one case Daniel Dulany, the Elder, in the 
other, Colonel Landon Carter and Colonel Richard Bland. 

[ 189 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

When Bland wished to reply to Camm in the following year, 
he found Royle's press open to him for the purpose. In 1766 
Samuel Chase found himself in the course of a local political 
disturbance shut off from access to the columns of the Mary- 
land Gazette, and perforce took his copy elsewhere for print- 
ing. A better-known case than any of these is that of Thomas 
Maule of Boston, who, running counter to the Mather influ- 
ence in the closing years of the seventeenth century, was com- 
pelled to send his Truth held forth and his New England 
Persecutors Maul'd to be set in type by William Bradford of 
New York. In the Maryland Gazette, at various times in 
1766, a controversy was carried on between Royle, the Wil- 
liamsburg printer, and certain Virginians who accused him of 
refusing to publish their attacks upon the local government. 
In that year, William Rind went from Annapolis to establish 
a press in Williamsburg, and it hardly need be said that the 
determining cause of his venture was the need for a vehicle 
of expression felt by the Virginia opposition party. Thomas 
Jefferson wrote years later of this incident: "we had but one 
press, and that having the whole business of the government, 
and no competitor for public favor, nothing disagreeable to 
the governor could be got into it. We procured Rind to come 
from Maryland to publish a free paper." 10 A catalogue might 
be made of instances wherein similar charges were brought 
against colonial printers. This potentiality of his office gave 
the printer a power in the community that took him far out- 
side the craftsman class to which he normally belonged, and 
to this influence the grace of popularity was often added by 
his genuine services to the ordinary citizen. 

[ 190 ] 


Bookbinding in Colonial America 

y4T the time of the invention of printing, the binding of 
I \ books had already passed from the hands of the gold- 
jL ~m. smith and the enamel worker into the care of a crafts- 
man who made it his principal occupation, and carried it on 
usually in a separate establishment. At all times since, local 
conditions have frequently brought about a temporary merg- 
ing of the printer's and the bookbinder's functions, but the 
normal practice in large and industrially well-advanced com- 
munities has been that the printer should turn over his sheets 
to a binder outside his own establishment, or to a publisher, 
who in turn would employ a craftsman of this character. But 
in the smaller towns of colonial America, where organiza- 
tion was late in reaching this degree of perfection, we find 
prevailing in the printing shops that duality in function 
which has been spoken of as a frequent necessity imposed by 
local conditions. 1 In those places the printer was printer and 
publisher too, and because there was not enough business 
available in his community to justify the presence of a local 
bindery, he undertook on his own account to put into boards 
and leather such productions of his press as he considered 
worthy of a dignity greater than the familiar blue or mar- 
bled paper in which were issued his pamphlets and unimpor- 
tant books. One of the peculiar vexations of his lot was the 
scarcity of skilled workmen in this branch of his business, 
though the enterprising and well-established printer seems 
generally to have succeeded in attaching to himself either by 
hire or by indenture one or two printing craftsmen skilled 
also in the binding of books. The women of the family, fur- 
thermore, could be depended upon for aid in a branch of his 

[ 191 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

business more nearly suited to their capabilities than the work 
at case or press. When help from these sources was available, 
therefore, he was able to advertise his preparedness for the 
local custom work and to give the protection of stiff covers 
to the finer or more important books of his own production. 

Separation of Printer and Binder 

It is not necessary to produce evidence of the unity of 
bindery and printing office in the smaller, communities of 
colonial America, for the customary advertisements of the 
printers have left us in no doubt as to the existence of this 
condition. A more interesting question is the extent to which 
the bindery existed as an establishment independent of the 
printing house, or as an appendage to the business of a local 
bookseller. It is not possible to say that the John Sanders, 
bookbinder, who took the Freeman's Oath in Boston in 1636 
and purchased a shop of some sort in 1637, afterwards exer- 
cised his craft on the Bay Psalm Book or on other productions 
of the Daye press, but certainly the cleavage began to show 
itself very early in the history of the trades. Though Samuel 
Green seems to have bound in the regular course certain 
copies of the Eliot Indian New Testament, printed by him 
in 1661, a great part of the whole Indian Bible of 1663 was 
turned over for binding to John RatclifT of Boston, who on 
one occasion wrote that the binding of the Bibles had been 
"the onely incourageing work which upon good Intelligence 
caused me to transport myselfe, and family into New Eng- 
land." RatclifF later undertook bookselling and publishing in 
a small way and continued to bind and to sell books until 
sometime after 1682. After the year 1671 he had a rival in 
the person of Edmund Ranger, who carried on for a time a 

[ 192 ] 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

bookbinding and bookselling business in the same city. 2 If 
the existence of bookbinding as a separately established craft 
is to be looked for anywhere in the colonies, it would natu- 
rally at this time be found in or near Boston with the college 
near by in Cambridge and with a people among whom the 
possession of books was a commonplace of experience. The 
condition is not found immediately in other cities. In the 
Pennsylvania Gazette of February 3, 1729/30, however, 
W[illiam] Davies in Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, informs 
the readers that he binds books in the best manner, and in the 
same journal, on April 30, 1730, John Hyndshaw inserts a 
more elaborate plea for the custom of the townspeople. An 
advertisement in the New-York Gazette of October 7, 1734, 
announces that "Joseph Johnson of the City of New- York 
Bookbinder, is now set up Book-Binding for himself as for- 
merly, and lives in Duke-street . . . near the Old-Slip Mar- 
ket; where all Persons in Town or Country, may have their 
Books carefully and neatly new Bound either Plain or Gilt, 
reasonable." Johnson had been made a freeman in 1731, and 
one makes the guess that he was a former workman of the 
Bradford establishment, in which a bindery had probably 
been conducted since its beginning in 1693. By the middle of 
the eighteenth century the printer of New York or Philadel- 
phia or Boston who bound books in his own shop did it from 
choice, and not because it was forced upon him by the exigen- 
cies of his situation. It was different in the smaller town; in 
Annapolis, Williamsburg, and Baltimore, the printer, almost 
throughout the century, continued, whether willingly or not 
it is difficult to say, to bind his own productions and to ad- 
vertise his ability to care for the casual needs the townspeo- 
ple felt in this particular. Occasionally his monopoly was in- 
vaded by a visitor from the outer world, for among the innu- 

[ 193 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

merable "Hawkers and Walkers in Early America," to quote 
the pleasantly chosen title of a book published some years 
ago, there were itinerant binders who travelled from town to 
town and made visits long or short in proportion to the local 
printer's need for their services and to the volume of custom 
brought in by the townspeople in answer to advertisements 
published in advance of the visitation. 

It is not especially a cause for wonder that the separation 
between printing office and bindery was slow to occur in the 
smaller American towns. There are reasons for this indeed, 
other than the lack of patronage for the separately conducted 
bindery. The differentiation between the functions of printer 
and publisher was itself late in taking place in these commu- 
nities, and binding naturally follows the publishing and sell- 
ing end of the business. Then, too, the colonial printer in the 
small town found himself a man of varied interests : editor, 
printer, and publisher, he was usually postmaster, frequently 
a town official, and nearly always something of a general 
merchant. As suggested in the preceding chapter, the lists of 
commodities kept on sale in some of the printing offices are 
amazing in their variety and sometimes amusing by reason 
of their incongruity. It is perhaps natural that a business so 
closely allied to his own as bookbinding should have been re- 
tained by the printer long after he had given up the sale of 
chocolate, Spanish snuff, cough medicine, fiddle strings, pick- 
led sturgeon, and other exotic articles of which his communi- 
cation with the outside world made him in earlier days fit- 
tingly the vendor. 

[ 194 ] 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 
Materials Locally Available 

The materials of ordinary bookbinding have been much 
the same since the earliest days of printing, that is, wooden 
board or pasteboard as stiff, protecting cover, a durable stuff 
such as leather or parchment to preserve the board and give 
finish to the volume, glue and paste, pack thread for bands and 
linen thread for sewing. The essential implements, too, have 
always been of the simplest character, though in the matter of 
tools for decorative purposes, susceptible to infinite differen- 
tiation. This is a craft in which deftness of hand, trueness of 
eye, and the craftsman's taste and conscience tell the story of 
excellence in attainment rather than a multiplicity of tools and 
materials. Though the requisite skill was not always available, 
it happens that in the colonies the materials were not especial- 
ly difficult to procure even in the early days of bookmaking. 
Most of the binding done in the frontier towns of America 
was utilitarian in character, and naturally we fail to find on 
the books much morocco or levant, which must be imported 
from goat-raising lands. We are not especially astonished, 
though, to come upon books bound in calf or sheep of native 
tanning, or even in the inferior grades of parchment and vel- 
lum that the country produced. Leather manufacturing, in- 
deed, was one of the earliest of native American industries. 
Virginia had a tannery as early as 1630, and a few years later 
another began operations at Lynn, Massachusetts. A Massa- 
chusetts law of 1640 required that hides be carefully removed 
and taken promptly to the tanneries for proper treatment, 
and penalties were provided for persons who, attempting to 
tan their hides at home, produced a leather liable to quick 
putrescence. In a report of the Lords of Trade of 1734 it is 
said of the people of Massachusetts, "A great part of the 

[ >95 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Leather used in the Country is . . . manufactured among 
themselves." A Maryland law of the year 1662 forbids the 
exportation of hides, to the New England tanneries for the 
reason that by this practice the local leather manufacture 
was being hindered in its development. The making of 
leather became an industry of constantly increasing im- 
portance in the colonies, and by the first decade of the nine- 
teenth century, the value of the annual output of the tan- 
neries of the United States had reached the sum of twenty 
million dollars. Throughout the colonial period, therefore, 
the binder had not far to seek for the principal material used 
in his craft, and in that report of the Lords of Trade just 
referred to we are told that the recent settlement of several 
Irish families in Massachusetts had resulted in the making 
of good linen as a local manufacture. As a matter of fact, flax 
was being grown and linen made in Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut and probably in Virginia as early as 1640, and this 
means, doubtless, that the linen thread used for sewing the 
sections could be obtained in the country at a relatively early 
period. 3 

In the inventory of Thomas Short, a printer of Connecti- 
cut who died in 1712, is found the entry, "to Implements to 
bind Book with Leather Skinn and Scabord— £3— 00— 00. " 4 
A brief analysis of this item in the account serves to advance 
the study of the conditions under which the colonial binder 
carried on his business. The word "scabord" is a contraction 
of scaleboard, the thin wooden board of oak or birch used by 
the earlier binders of many lands as their stiff, protective 
cover. Its use in binding was frequent in American books 
throughout the colonial period and well into the nineteenth 
century. Even when covered only with heavy paper, it was 
regarded as a fitting and sufficiently handsome binding for 

[ 196 ] 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

school-books and for other volumes destined to rough usage. 
The distinction set up in Thomas Short's inventory between 
"leather" and "skinn" is doubtless a recognition of the differ- 
ence between the hide of the cow, the sheep, or the calf made 
into leather by the process of tanning, and the skin of the 
sheep or the calf made into parchment or vellum by the proc- 
ess of liming, scraping, chalking, rubbing with pumice, and 
curing. The original bindings of the Bay Psalm Book, the 
first book from the Cambridge press, were of calf or of vel- 
lum; most of the copies of the Eliot Indian Bible were bound 
in calf, though in Samuel Green's bill to the Corporation, in 
' 1662, appears a charge of $s. 6d. for "pack thrid and vel- 
lum," used doubtless in binding some of the 200 copies of the 
New Testament specified later in the account. An unstiffened 
vellum was a favorite material for the covering of manu- 
script books of records, but there have been preserved few 
examples of English-American printed books contemporane- 
ously bound in covers of this material. On the other hand, 
relatively few Mexican printed books have been preserved 
in any original cover other than vellum. It was a reasonably 
cheap product, though, in English America, for as early as 
1704 the Maryland government was paying only 18 pence a 
skin for locally-made parchment of a quality good enough to 
engross laws upon, and, as opposed to this modest price, we 
find Franklin, in 1732, paying 3 and 4 shillings and more for 
calfskins to be used by Stephen Potts, the journeyman binder 
associated with him at this time. In spite of the cheapness of 
vellum, however, of its durability, and of its nobler charac- 
ter, it was less generally used in the colonial binderies than 
the tanned leathers made from the hides of the calf and the 

Milch and beef cattle were the animals principally raised 

[ 197 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

by the English settlers, and it was a local economic factor 
that caused their books to come to them clad in dull brown 
leather rather than in the gay and pleasant white skin that 
is manufactured in quantity in sheep-raising countries. It is 
possible, too, that eternal artistic fitness worked its will upon 
the people, and that a half-realized sense of propriety in fit- 
ting cover to contents led the binders to put the sombre books 
of the period into sombre covers. 

Economies in the Bindery 

The absence from the colonial scene of skilled craftsmen 
was not the only difficulty that faced the printer-binder of 
this period. Even though most of his material was to be had 
locally, there were certain articles, in the earlier years at 
least, that must be imported. In 1664, John RatclifT of Boston 
complained of the insufficiency of his payment for binding 
and clasping part of the issue of Eliot's Indian Bible. "I finde 
by experience," he writes, "that in things belonging to my 
trade, I here pay i8j for that which in England I could buy 
for four shillings, they being things not formerly much used 
in this country." Though conditions inevitably improved as 
time went on, there must often have been periods of strin- 
gency in a country not essentially industrial in character. It 
is interesting to see one of the practices of an earlier day 
repeating itself, to see the American printer-binder, tempo- 
rarily out of binder's board, forced to the adoption of econo- 
mies not unfamiliar in the European shops of the fifteenth 
century. Here again we find shop waste being utilized as lin- 
ing and backing, and even as board itself when pasted and 
pressed together in numerous successive laminations. The 
tale of important fragments rescued from bindings of fif- 

[ 198 ] 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

teenth-century books is endless. Most of the so-called Cos- 
teriana have been found in the bindings of early books ; many 
sheets of the Gutenburg Bible and many important broadsides 
and engravings have been rescued from their useful and in- 
glorious servitude by sharp-eyed salvagers of bibliophilic 
gems. A number of similar retrievals have been effected from 
colonial American books in the past decade or two. Not many 
years ago Wilberforce Eames recovered from the binding of 
a William Bradford book, belonging to A. S. W. Rosenbach, 
parts of ten different imprints of this first New York printer, 
and of these fragments, two were found to be portions of titles 
not previously recorded among the productions of Bradford's 
press. The Maryland Historical Society copy of A Collection 
of the Governor s Several Speeches, a rare book printed by 
Jonas Green in 1739, was recovered entirely from the bind- 
ing of a copy of the ensuing year's session laws, in which, for 
nearly two hundred years, its separate leaves, pasted and 
pressed one upon another, had served the purpose of binder's 
board. This particular copy of the session laws had been sent 
to England to Lord Baltimore, and because of its special im- 
portance, it had been put into leather covers by the printer, 
and because of the need for haste in supplying the Proprie- 
tary with the newly enacted statutes of his province, the 
printer had not been able to wait for the arrival of a supply 
of pasteboard, doubtless expected from England on the next 
ship, or by road or schooner from Mr. Franklin in Philadel- 
phia. The John Carter Brown copy of the Compleat Laws of 
Maryland, printed by William Parks of Annapolis in 1727, 
carried as a lining a variant and rejected title-page for that 
book, pasted printed side down, which when removed and 
read for the first time in two centuries brought to knowledge 
an unexplained change of mind on the part of the editors 

[ 199 1 

The Colonial Printer 

while this work was actually in the press. Some day, per- 
haps, the eyes of a worthy bibliophile will bulge with wild 
surmise when he soaks the boards that cover an early Cam- 
bridge book and sees emerging some thirty or forty copies of 
"The Oath of a Freeman," shut off from human sight these 
three hundred years. 

Remuneration of the Binder 

The remuneration of the bookbinder, like the wages of 
the printer, seems to have remained at much the same point 
during the long period for which we have records. In 1662, 
Samuel Green put in his printing bill a charge for binding 
200 copies of the Indian New Testament at sixpence each. 
This was a quarto of thirty-three sheets, bound in leather. 
Two years later he received the sum of is. 6d. each for bind- 
ing 200 copies of the whole Indian Bible, a quarto of 150 
sheets, bound in full leather with clasps. John RatclifF, the 
Boston binder, was paid the same amount for those copies of 
the Bible bound in his establishment, and as we have seen, he 
felt that because of the cost of materials, the sum was insuf- 
ficient. He affirmed that he could not live comfortably on a 
rate of payment less than 3s. \d. or 3s. 6d. a book, "one 
Bible," continues the appeal, "being as much as I can com- 
pleat in one day, and out of it [i.e., the existing payment of 
2 j - . 6d. a copy] finde Thred, Glew, Pasteboard and Leather 
Claps, and all which I cannot suply my selfe for one shil- 
ling in this country." In 1714, Elizabeth, the widow of 
Thomas Short, the first Connecticut printer, bound 2000 cop- 
ies of the Saybrook Platform printed by her husband in 1710, 
receiving £50 for the job. This piece of work by the first 
woman binder of record in America is rather crudely ac- 

[ 200 ] 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

complished in leather over birch boards. It comprises eight 
sheets in octavo, and the sixpence a copy Mrs. Short received 
for the binding was probably good pay for quantity produc- 
tion. In 1731, Franklin paid his journeyman Stephen Potts, 
who was also his binder, 8 shillings for binding a Bible, 3s. 
6d., for binding two other books, and sixpence for binding 
two blank books. In 1734, Franklin's charge for binding for 
Thomas Penn "a great book of Birds" was £1. 10s. If that 
was the huge folio in which Catesby's Natural History of 
Carolina was published in London, Volume I in 1731, the 
extraordinary size of the charge is explained. He took no 
profit on these transactions and billed his customers for the 
amounts credited to Stephen Potts on his books. There is a 
great difference between the is. 6d. paid Ratcliff in 1663 for 
binding the Indian Bible and the 8 shillings paid Potts for 
binding a Bible in 1731, but even if the size of the books 
would not account for the greater charge, it must be remem- 
bered that the one was an edition job, the other a custom 
job. On edition work, Franklin's charge in 1731 was the same 
as that of Mrs. Short some seventeen years earlier — sixpence 
a copy for 1000 copies of Arscot's Some Considerations, a 
book of sixteen sheets, issued in two parts in 1732. Coming 
to the year 1 769, we find Hugh Gaine of New York inform- 
ing Sir William Johnson that the cost of binding in plain 
leather the Mohawk Book of Common Prayer, an octavo 
comprising twenty-six half sheets, would be 2 shillings cur- 
rency a volume instead of is. 6d. as formerly estimated. 
Those to be bound in morocco, a leather for which he must 
send to Boston, would naturally cost more, but the price was 
not specified. In 1775, Valentine Nutter, a binder situated 
opposite the Coffee House, charged Gaine is. 6d. a volume 
for 250 sets of Chesterfield's Letters, a duodecimo in four 

[ 201 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

volumes, containing an average of nineteen sheets each. Some- 
what later than this we find a bill of Timothy Green of New 
London for printing the Laws of Connecticut of 1784. For 
binding this work, issued in an edition of 505 copies, com- 
prising seventy-one sheets in folio, Green received from the 
state the sum of 5 shillings a copy for the work and the ma- 
terials. 5 

Paper Covers 

The normal issue of the American shop, the book of session 
laws or assembly proceedings, the pamphlet, and the sermon, 
did not attain the dignity that used to impress Dr. Johnson. 
This was not, in the Doctor's phrase, "a bound book," and 
therefore intrinsically worthy of respect. It was sent into the 
world folded and sewn, with a paper cover "drawn on," that 
is, pasted to the end papers at front and back. This cover was 
ordinarily either plain blue or marbled paper. Sometimes a 
more interesting stock was employed for the purpose. The 
John Carter Brown copy of the Charter of the City of New 
York, printed by Zenger in 1735, has a drawn-on cover of 
later date of greenish paper stamped in gold with a decora- 
tion of animals of many species and sizes. This "Dutch gilt" 
paper, as it was called, forms an interesting cover, and in its 
original condition, when the gold was brilliant, it must have 
shown a brave and pleasant face to a world accustomed to the 
monotony of blue or marbled papers. A Dutch gilt paper 
stamped with scenes of religious significance — Christ emerg- 
ing from the tomb, and St. John with pen and book and eagle 
— forms the cover of a Catechism of Nature for the Use of 
Children, of Philadelphia, 1799. Indeed, Isaiah Thomas and 
other printers of the time made frequent use of these stamped 
paper covers on books for children. Their use on other books 

[ 202 ] 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

was sufficiently general to show us that the colonial book 
buyer occasionally had his eyes gratified by a successful at- 
tempt at decoration, even in the case of cheaper volumes of 
which the covers were intended purely for protective pur- 


• The early leather bindings of the colonies were usually 
without ornamentation, or even, like the fifteenth-century 
books, without the lettering on their backs that later became 
the commonplace measure of utility found in connection with 
the cheapest volumes. The law-book style of binding, plain, 
undecorated calf or sheep, a familiar feature of bookshelves 
for centuries, represented the normal colonial book. Occa- 
sionally ornamentation was added to the cover in the form of 
a blind-tooled border of one or more narrow lines, or of a 
blind-tooled, decorated panel with a fleuron in each corner. 
For reasons easily understood, the use of gold leaf in tooling 
was slow in becoming general ; even the familiar red label on 
the back with gilt lettering begins to appear only in the eigh- 
teenth century, though from about the year 1725, William 
Bradford was announcing in his Gazette that he bound "old 
books, either plain or Gilt." Indeed, what has just been said 
is subject to further qualification, for now and then a piece 
of special binding was accomplished that would nullify all 
these statements if it were not intended they should apply 
only to the normal book of the period. It will be interesting 
to examine certain early American bindings that stand out as 
exceptions to this generalized description of the colonial 

[ 203 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
The Ratcliff and Ranger Bindings 

There are known to exist nineteen books, now widely scat- 
tered throughout the country in their physical bodies, which 
form, in identity of features, and in the circumstances of their 
binding, a distinct and recognizable group. This group com- 
prises the following books, most of them described at length 
by Thomas J. Holmes in a paper read in April, 1928, before 
the American Antiquarian Society : 

(1) The Bay Psalm Book, 3d ed. Cambridge, 1651. Copy in the New York Public Library, 

bound in brown sheep with ornamentation in gold tooling. 6 

(2) Eliot Indian Bible, Cambridge, 1663. Copy in the possession of Mr. J. K. Lilly, Jr., of 


(3) Eliot Indian Bible in the Harvard College Library. 

(4) The Massachusetts Laws of 1672, Cambridge, 1672. Copy in the American Antiqua- 

rian Society, bound in polished calf, with ornamentation in gold tooling. 

(5) The manuscript Commonplace Book of Samuel Sewall, now in the Massachusetts 

Historical Society, bound in sheep with blind tooling. 
(6, 7, 8, 9 ) Hubbard's Narrative of the Indian Wars in New England, Boston, 1677. 
Copies in full calf, blind tooled, in the American Antiquarian Society, the John 
Carter Brown Library, Goodspeed's Book Shop, and A. S. W. Rosenbach. 

(10) Increase Mather, A Call from Heaven, Boston, 1679. Copy in the Library of the late 

Tracy W. McGregor, of Washington, D. C, formerly in the Mather collection of 
Willian Gwinn Mather, Cleveland, Ohio, bound in brown morocco, with orna- 
mentation in gold tooling. 

(11) Volume of tracts in the Henry E. Huntington Library, No. 551 of the Church Cata- 

logue, bound in 1 68 1, or later, in brown morocco with blind tooling. 

(12) Volume of tracts in the Library of the late Tracy W. McGregor, formerly in the 

William Gwinn Mather Collection, bound in sheep with blind tooling. 

(13—19) Seven volumes described by Thomas J. Holmes and William G. Land in the 
Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society for October, 1929. 

In all but the first volume of this group of bindings is 
found identity in the decorative tools employed and a simi- 
larity in style so great as to leave one in no doubt as to their 
common origin. The excepted volume, moreover, partakes to 
such an extent of this distinctiveness of style that it falls 
naturally into the group in spite of a difference in the tools 
employed in decoration. For the purpose of illustrating the 
type of ornamentation represented in this group, there is 

[ 204 ] 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

shown in Plate xxi the binding of the tenth work, A Call 
from Heaven, with panelled sides formed by a gilt broken- 
line border, and a gilt fleuron in the center and in each corner 
of the cover. 

The question now presents itself of the identity of the 
binder or binders of these volumes, and happily, the way is 
clear to its solution. John Ratcliff came to Boston in 1663 to 
undertake the binding of the Eliot Indian Bible. He re- 
mained there as bookseller and bookbinder, certainly until 
the year 1682, when he disappears from record. Edmund 
Ranger appeared first in Boston in 1671, and remained there, 
variously described as bookseller, bookbinder, and stationer, 
until his death in 1705. The doubt that might well exist as 
to which of these rival binders covered and decorated the 
books named is resolved by an inscription in No. 5 of the list, 
Samuel Sewall's manuscript Commonplace Book preserved 
in the Massachusetts Historical Society. Inscribed in the 
author's own hand in this volume are the words: "Samuel 
Sewall, his Booke, Decemb. 29, 1677. Bound by Jno. Rat- 
cliff." Drawn by so clear a leading one hastens, or rather, 
Mr. Holmes, when making the study of Ratcliff bindings 
here summarized, hastened to examine the cover of the Com- 
monplace Book, still in its original binding, and to compare 
its tooling with that of A Call from Heaven, published by 
John Ratcliff and bound at some time before 1685. It is 
found that the plans of decoration of the two volumes are 
much alike, though in the one case, blind tooling has been 
employed, and in the other, gilt. The more important discov- 
ery, however, is that, though used in different combinations, 
the tools employed to create the designs are identical. Upon 
further examination, either these similar designs or these 
identical tools used in other combinations are found in the 

[ 205 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

bindings of Nos. 2-1 1 of the books under consideration, and 
one is therefore able to speak with assurance of this group of 
bindings as the work of John RatclifT, the first professional 
binder known to have exercised his trade in English America. 
Of the group of twelve volumes in our list one may assert 
that the ten just specified are definitely from the hand of 
RatclirT, the known binder of Samuel Sewall's Commonplace 
Book. Of the first and last volumes in the list, however, this 
assertion may be made only with qualification. No. l , the third 
edition of the Bay Psalm Book, bears every evidence of Rat- 
cliff's hand both in style of ornamentation and in technical 
workmanship, but the floral ornament with which it is deco- 
rated was made by a tool that RatclirT used on no other book 
in the group. The result, however, of Mr. Holmes's minute 
examination of the book, examination of the kind that can be 
given only by one who is at once a scholar and a trained book- 
binder, was such as to convince him that the book had been 
bound by RatclifT. The case of No. 12 in our list is somewhat 
different. That volume seems to have been bound after 1682, 
when John RatclifT is heard of no more in Massachusetts. It 
bears in its design certain of the RatclifT tools, but these tools 
are used in combination with others not recognized as part of 
Ratcliff's equipment. One supposes therefore that when Rat- 
cliff died, or returned to England after 1682, his equipment 
became the property of Edmund Ranger, who, Mr. Holmes 
assures us, was a better binder than his rival. The probability 
of Ranger's hand having been employed upon this volume 
enables us to think of Nos. 1—1 2 of our group of books as con- 
taining examples of the work (and pleasing, artistically con- 
ceived work it is) of the first two binders known to have prac- 
tised their craft in English America outside the printing house. 
But in using terms indicative of priority in this association, 

[ 206 ] 

Plate XXI 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

one keeps in mind always the possibility, and the hope, of dis- 
covering that John Sanders, "a bookebynder" who signed the 
Freeman's Oath in 1636 and bought a shop in Boston in 1637, 
may have been employed to put the original covers on the 
Bay Psalm Book of 1640 and on other publications of the 
first Cambridge press. 

The search for bindings done by these earliest of colonial 
craftsmen is not much more than begun. Few custodians of 
collections that own many New England books of the period 
have troubled to go through their shelves with Mr. Holmes's 
monograph in hand, but in two cases, certainly, such a search 
has been made with fruitful results. Soon after the pub- 
lication of his first study, three volumes were found in the 
American Antiquarian Society which were identified by Mr. 
Holmes as being, one in a Ratcliff binding, two in the super- 
ior bindings of Edmund Ranger. At the same time William 
G. Land made search in the Connecticut Historical Society 
with gratifying results, finding, and afterwards carefully de- 
scribing, four volumes, of which three bear the insignia of 
Ratcliff and one is distinguished by the finer workmanship of 
Ranger. Mr. Land at the same time found a volume of Rat- 
cliff's workmanship in the private collection of the Society's 
Librarian, Albert Carlos Bates. The seven volumes thus added 
to the original group are those referred to in our list of known 
Ratcliff and Ranger bindings as Nos. 13-19. Examples of 
the work of these two men are worth looking for, both to the 
antiquarian and to the historian of the American book. 

The Maryland and Virginia Bindings 

The existence of these exceptional examples of early bind- 
ing is evidence of the probability that even in the seventeenth 

[ 207 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

century it was possible at different times and places for the 
man of taste to bespeak a nicely ornamented cover from the 
binder. The determination as "American" of bindings of this 
description proceeds very slowly, however, and it is neces- 
sary to pass over nearly half a century before other decorated 
bindings of American provenience can be pointed out with 
assurance to the amateur of bibliopegy. About the year 1728, 
though, William Parks, then of Annapolis, began to adver- 
tise himself as one "Who binds old Books very well, and 
cheap." In that year, he issued an edition of Holdsworth's 
Muscipula in a translation by Richard Lewis. Only three 
copies of this book are known to exist today, but each of the 
three is in its original binding, and all three bindings, save 
for the difference in color and variety of leather, are almost 
identical. One might suppose that a part of this edition had 
been sent to England for binding, but aside from considera- 
tions of expense and loss of time, the workmanship, particu- 
larly the handling of the roulette, is somewhat too crude to 
allow that possibility to be long considered. When we learn, 
too, that another book issued by Parks eight years later in 
Williamsburg is found bearing practically the same design, 
made up from the identical tools, in this case more deftly 
applied, we may assume that all four of these bindings were 
American in origin, and that they were accomplished in the 
bindery that Parks conducted in connection with his printing 
offices. The Muscipula bindings are in sprinkled calf or in 
morocco; the covers are panelled in gold with gold-tooled 
fleurons in the corners. In the Williamsburg book, the John 
Carter Brown copy of The Charter of William and Mary 
College, published in 1736, the binder has combined other 
tools with those of the Muscipula bindings, and, in a more 
elaborate design, imposed them upon an excellent blue mo- 

[ 208 ] 





A - ■ 


'.»V- ;6j?- 





Plate XXII 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

rocco. The somewhat meaningless angular tooling of the back 
between the raised bands does not detract seriously from a 
tasteful and well-executed binding. In the work of this print- 
ing-shop bindery one finds, so far as my knowledge carries 
me, almost the earliest examples of conscious artistic excel- 
lence to be met among the books printed and, without ques- 
tion, bound in colonial America. The only earlier bindings 
so far recognized of a degree of merit approaching that dis- 
played in the Parks books are those which have been shown 
to be the work of the separate binding establishments of John 
RatclifF and Edmund Ranger of Boston. (Plate xxn.) 

New York Bindings 

In 1769, Hugh Gaine, working at Sir William Johnson's 
expense, issued an edition of The Book of Common Prayer 
in the Mohawk language. The cost of sending the books to 
England for binding determined the choice of an American 
craftsman, and it was decided to have them put into covers, 
some in calf, a few in morocco, by a New York binder whose 
name is not mentioned in the correspondence that relates to 
the project. Sir William Johnson's own copy of this book is 
found in the John Carter Brown Library, and, as would be ex- 
pected, it is one of the copies bound in morocco ; in fact, in a 
very good grade of morocco of a rich red color. A flowered 
end paper has been employed, but a crude and unimaginative 
ornamentation in gold tooling has been applied to the excel- 
lent leather. If the book serves as an example of the work- 
manship of the average colonial binder in his exceptional 
moments, it brings out very clearly the superiority of crafts- 
manship and taste displayed by William Parks, a generation 
earlier, and by RatclifF and Ranger of Boston nearly a cen- 

[ 209 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

tury before this New York binder practised his craft. A copy 
of the Votes and Proceedings of the New York Assembly, 
printed by Hugh Gaine in 1764, found in the library of L. C. 
Karpinski, wears its original covers and bears an inscription 
in long hand at the foot of its preface that declares it to have 
been "bound by Rob. McAlpine." Copies of the book in the 
New York Historical Society and in the library of the Grolier 
Club are similarly inscribed in the same place, in the same 
hand, while the John Carter Brown copy of this volume is 
identically bound with the Karpinski copy, and in the same 
place at the end of the preface are found the words, in a dif- 
ferent contemporary hand, "Bound by Robert McAlpine." 
It may be assumed that here we have examples of an edition 
binding, and, what is most unusual in any place and period, 
an edition binding signed in autograph in three of the four 
known examples. This procedure could hardly have added 
much to the contemporary esteem of the volume, but it need 
not be said that posterity regards these signed McAlpine bind- 
ings with a degree of interest out of all proportion to their 
negligible aesthetic value. It is likely that this was the crafts- 
man who kept Sir William's Mohawk Book of Common 
Prayer an unconscionable time and then spoiled an honest 
skin with ugly ornamentation. At any rate, there seems to 
have been no other custom binder working in New York in 
this year of 1769. As early as 1742 Franklin had employed 
this New York binder on several occasions. 

The Distinctive Ephrata Books 

It would be an error in discrimination to neglect mention 
of the binding accomplished by the German "solitaries" at 
the Ephrata Cloister in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This com- 

[ 210 ] 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

munity conducted in the middle years of the eighteenth cen- 
tury one of the most interesting of all colonial American 
printing establishments, for its members printed books on 
paper made in their own mill and bound them afterwards in 
their own bindery. Here was printed and bound Der Blutige 
Schau-Platz, the largest and ugliest book produced in colonial 
America, and here, it has been suggested, was bound the 
Sower German Bible of 1743. The style of binding employed 
in the Cloister was the heavy, substantial covering of the 
German book with which the brothers were familiar as an 
ancestral heritage. The materials employed were calf or sheep 
stretched over heavy, handsplit oaken boards, equipped with 
well-wrought brass corners and clasped with sturdy brass 
clasps. Brass-studded loops at top and bottom of the heavier 
volumes offered a purchase for the hand in taking them from 
the shelf. They are without lettering and decorated only with 
blind-tooled designs, but solid, dependable, and well fash- 
ioned in the manner one would expect from craftsmen of the 
German tradition, unlike any other bindings made in the 
three Americas. 

A Philadelphia Binder 

At the very close of the colonial period it is possible to find 
some exceptionally nice examples of the binder's art. The 
covers of the John Carter Brown copy of the Aitken Bible, 
printed in Philadelphia in 1781-1782, are of this description. 
The book has been arbitrarily divided into two volumes of 
almost equal size, and each volume put into a cover of olive 
morocco embellished with delicately executed tooling in gold. 
Immediately the volumes are seen and handled, one per- 
ceives that they came from the hands of a workman who 

F 211 1 

The Colonial Printer 

added the grace of an artistic nature to a sure and learned 
craftsmanship. It is easy to venture a guess at the identity 
of the binder who designed these harmonious combinations 
of flowers and leaves in gold tooling, freely and unconven- 
tionally conceived, for in the New York Public Library are 
two copies of volume one of this book, obviously from the 
hand that decorated the John Carter Brown volumes. When 
one learns that the printer of the book, Robert Aitken, was 
bred a bookbinder in Edinburgh, and that he worked in Phila- 
delphia as bookbinder and bookseller before he took up print- 
ing, the conclusion forces itself that here was a printer who 
executed his own binding and that a part of his edition of the 
Bible was thus beautifully covered and ornamented for spe- 
cial sale by himself or by his competent daughter Jane. (Plate 


Binders 5 Labels 

Now and then, too seldom though, one opens an American 
book in its original binding and finds pasted upon its inside 
front cover a plate that seems at first glance to be the familiar 
ex libris usually found in that position. But there is more of a 
thrill to the experience I have in mind, for on this rare occa- 
sion a closer look shows the printed or engraved label to be a 
binder's trade card, and the colonial American binder's card 
is sufficiently rare to be looked at twice, or even, less elegant- 
ly, to be gaped at. Certainly the knowing bookseller looks at 
it with eyes wide open as he estimates in terms of money the 
points of the book that contains one of these rarities. In a 
copy of Tillotson's sermons in the American Antiquarian So- 
ciety, very plainly but substantially bound, is found the elab- 
orate and handsomely engraved label of Andrew Barclay, 
who, about the year 1760, kept shop in Cornhill, Boston, 

[ 212 ] 

Plate XXIII 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

"Next Door but one to the Sign of the Three Kings." It has 
been suggested that the New York Public Library copy of 
Prince's Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs of Boston, 1758, 
a presentation copy from the editor to Governor Hutchinson, 
was also from the hand of this binder. The Prince volume is 
well bound, without special distinction, in an excellent 
straight-grained morocco, decorated in gold tastefully 
enough, and presenting, on the whole, the appearance of 
honest and thoughtful craftsmanship. 

There exists, too, the handsomely engraved label of Sam- 
uel Taylor, Barclay's Philadelphia contemporary. There is 
found an interesting advertisement in the Pennsylvania Ga- 
zette for October 31, 1765, in which "Samuel Taylor, ... at 
the Book-in-Hand, the Corner of Market and Water-streets" 
informs the public that he executes binding, gilt as well as 
plain. What a pleasing directness there is to these old trade 
signs with their obvious symbolism — the Sign of the Bible 
for the printer, the Sign of the Coffee Pot for the silversmith, 
the Wooden Indian for the tobacconist, and the Book in 
Hand for the binder ! I have never come upon a volume with 
the label of Samuel Taylor in position, though the American 
Antiquarian Society possesses a fine copy of the plate removed 
by a former owner from a book that may have been a notable 
specimen of the binder's craft. 

Some Representative Bindings 

The John Carter Brown Library has recently secured a fine 
copy of An Abridgement of Burn's Justice of the Peace and 
Parish Officer, printed in Boston in 1773, and later bound in 
Keene, New Hampshire, that busy center for the publication 
of chapbooks of the 1790's. In plain sheep with a blind- 

[ 213 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

tooled border, the volume has been very well bound by 
Thomas S. Webb, whose printed label is found in position. 
This binder (and author of Masonic books) worked at Keene 
from 1 790 to 1 796 ; in 1 797 he removed to Albany. 7 The spec- 
imen of his handicraft before us is so well accomplished in 
essentials, so honest and without pretense of being something 
else, so redolent of old simple things and ways, of old law 
offices and country justices with hardened hands, and heads 
too perhaps, that I like to think of it as representing the 
typical American binding of the eighteenth century, a natu- 
ral product expressing the homely quality of its environment. 
In bringing to a close this account of the colonial binder 
and his work, I come back to a book that I like to write and 
talk about because of its varied excellences. The special as 
well as the ordinary copies of this book, Bacon's Laws of 
Maryland, appeared in rough sheep, but upon its covers 
was placed as delicate a blind-tooled border as ever came 
from binder's roulette. These volumes were bound as part of 
the day's work by or for Jonas Green in his provincial print- 
ing shop at Annapolis in 1765. It is waste of breath to bewail 
the passing of ancient customs, and it might even be said that 
so delicate and inconspicuous an adornment of a common 
utilitarian binding was a work of supererogation at best, but 
it is this final touch, this gesture towards beauty, that con- 
nects the artist-craftsmen in a single line through the ages. 
It places the colonial binder, humbly, but surely, in the 
brotherhood of the cathedral builders, those instinctive art- 
ists in whose structures no single stone was placed merely for 
decoration, but in which, none the less, every stone possessed 
decorative value. 

[ 2.4 ] 


The Product of the Colonial Press 
Part I. The Content 

A GLANCE at the most recent volume of the American 
Bibliography shows that for the hundred and sixty 
L year period between 1639 and 1799, the late Charles 
Evans listed as the product of the colonial press almost 
36,000 separately printed books, pamphlets, broadsides, and 
newspapers, counting a year's issue of a newspaper as a sin- 
gle item. In the compilation of this list Mr. Evans made no 
attempt to record those printed blank forms which were un- 
questionably one of the staples of the American press, nor 
was it possible for him to record the innumerable advertise- 
ments, notices, and posters that were carried out of memory 
by the winds or left to the mercy of sun and rain on wall 
and door after their ephemeral purpose had been served. For 
the colony of Massachusetts alone, Worthington C. Ford has 
recorded some 3400 ephemeral pieces in his Broadsides, Bal- 
lads, &c. Printed in Massachusetts. In that bibliography, 
Mr. Ford made no attempt at a comprehensive record of blank 
forms, including only the first appearance of a form and oc- 
casionally other issues that seemed to possess unusual sig- 
nificance. With the best intention of including every piece 
that came from the press, a bibliographer would still have 
only partial success in compiling a complete list of imprints 
of any period or place, for, in general, it is safe to say that 
where one printed item has been preserved, three or four 
have perished through neglect and natural causes. 

[ 215 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
The Extent of Colonial Publication 

Let us compare the record of Franklin & Hall's Work Book 
for the year 1 765 with the check list of the firm's publications 
for that year as compiled by William J. Campbell from print- 
ed pieces existing in actual copies, or from records of publica- 
tion in newspaper advertisements and other sources. In mak- 
ing this comparison, it is to be remembered that Mr. Camp- 
bell has recorded blank forms and such other ephemera as 
have come to the knowledge of bibliographers. Mr. Camp- 
bell's list for the year 1765 shows nineteen entries, of which 
ten— assembly documents, almanacs, carriers' addresses, prim- 
ers, and catechisms— were staple productions issued on the 
firm's account and omitted from entry in the Work Book, as 
were also, for some reason not understood, four other pieces 
known with certainty to have been printed. A complete count, 
therefore, of Franklin & Hall imprints for 1765 requires the 
addition of these fourteen pieces to the seventy-four pieces 
entered in the Work Book. Comparison of the nineteen pieces 
of the year 1765 previously known to bibliographers with the 
eighty-eight resulting from this calculation shows a ratio of 
one piece recorded to 4.6 pieces printed. For the six-year 
period 1760-1765, a comparison of eighty-two pieces re- 
corded by Campbell with 386 known to have been printed 
(321 Work Book entries plus sixty-five recorded elsewhere) 
suggests that where one Franklin & Hall imprint of this pe- 
riod has been recorded, 4.7 came from the press, or, to put it 
differently, where one publication of that firm has been pre- 
served 3.7 have disappeared from knowledge. If the first fig- 
ure be allowed as the ratio existing between the recorded pro- 
duction and the actual production of the whole body of print- 
ers, and applied to the total of Evans titles for the period 

[ 216 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

1639-1799, we shall find ourselves contemplating a possible 
production of about 169,000 printed pieces instead of the 
36,000 recovered and entered by the enthusiastic and indus- 
trious compiler whose work has placed under lasting obliga- 
tion the historian of American life and letters. Ordinarily it 
would be improper to affirm a general truth from a particular 
instance, but in this connection the case of Franklin & Hall 
is exceptionally to the point. Because of the eminence of 
Franklin in other fields, his imprints have been piously pre- 
served for generations, and before Campbell set out to list 
them, Hildeburn and Charles Evans had gone over the field 
and put down with particular care such pieces from his press 
as had come to their knowledge. 1 

The Character of the Product 

From this discussion of the statistics of the colonial press, 
one turns with interest to a study of the character of its out- 
put. I can think of no better way of introducing this aspect of 
the question than by giving here the record of separately 
printed pieces found in the Franklin & Hall Work Book for 
a single year, remembering that there will not be found among 
the extracts the legislative documents, issued in Franklin's 
name alone, the Pennsylvania Gazette, issued in Hall's name 
alone, the almanacs, the carriers' addresses, and other peri- 
odical staples of the firm. Because there are preserved in this 
record so many of the ephemeral titles which show the day- 
by-day life of the people, we shall find it of greater value in 
our present study than any equal number of titles for a simi- 
lar period of time taken from formal bibliographies. The job 
numbers are omitted from the record as presented here, and, 
to avoid confusion, entries referring to work of earlier years 

[ 217 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

and tardily put in the book have been disregarded in tran- 
scription. The five entries in the Work Book which are re- 
corded also in the Campbell check list have been marked here 
with an asterisk, a device which makes it easy for the reader 
to observe that the many Franklin & Hall publications which 
did not find record in that or any other bibliography are not 
in every case trivial ephemera. The omitted titles comprise, 
among others, a Library Company Catalogue ; a local notice 
requiring landlords to pave their footways ; an advertisement 
by Sir William Johnson for the sale of lands; a post office 
form ; an advertisement of a night school ; two church notices ; 
a yearly meeting notice of the St. Andrew's Society ; an Ad- 
dress to the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania by John Dickinson; 
notices concerning the business of a Linen Manufactory; a 
large variety of blank forms, lottery tickets, and invitations ; 
and eleven sales of land of greater or less importance— all 
items of the sort that provide background for the historian 
and material for the bibliographer and collector. Lest it be 
assumed that this list of jobs completed represents the entire 
output of the Franklin & Hall establishment, we must re- 
mind ourselves of the fact that the Campbell list contains 
fourteen items not found in the Work Book, most of them 
publications on the account of the firm or of its individual 
members and kept, without doubt, in separate records. 

Separately Printed Pieces found among the Franklin & Hall 
Work Book Entries for the Year 1765 

Jany. 24 Mr. Caleb Cash Dr. 

For 700 Vestry Notices 14 

Jany. 24 Association Library Company Drs. 

For printing 1000 Library Notes 1 

Feby. 19 Mr. John Rhea Dr. 

For printing 100 promissory Notes 10 

[ 218 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

5- o 

i - - 

March I Managers of St. Peter's. &c. Church Lottery Drs. 

For Printing Thirteen Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty 

Tickets @ 30/ a Thousand 20. o. 6. 

*March 22 Commissioners for paving the Streets Drs. 

For printing 2500 Advertisements relating to keeping the 

streets clean, a Folio Page 6. o. o. 

March 22 Dr. John Cox Dr. 

For printing 200 Deeds on best Pott Paper, and 190 of Ditto 

on Parchment [the Parchment found by Mr. Cox] 3. 10. O 

March 27 John Swift Esq: Dr. 

For printing 250 Bonds for loading foreign Melasses — 
(best Pro Patria) 
March 29 William Parr, Esq: Dr. 

For printing 300 Venires 
Mar. 29 John Swift Esq. Dr. 

For printing 200 Bonds for loading Lumber (best Pro 

Patria) I. 

March 29 John Swift Esq: Dr. 

For printing 250 Certificates for loading foreign Melasses 
Do. for 200 Ditto for loading Lumber 
(both on best Pro Patria) 
March 30 Commissioners for paving the Streets Drs. 

For printing 200 Advertisements, desiring Landlords to 
pave their Footways, &c. 
April 4 Trustees of the College Dr. 

For printing 500 Tickets for the Charity School on Message 

Paper I. 

April 6 Mr. William Weyman Dr. 

For printing 100 Single Advertisements for selling or let- 
ting Lands of Sir William Johnson 
Paid a Person for Sticking them up 
April 13 John Swift Esq: Dr. • 

For printing 100 Bills of Health on best Pro Patria (Half 
April 15 Messieurs Franklin & Foxcroft Drs. 

For printing 1000 Way Bills on the best Pro Patria Paper 

@ 1 Penny a Piece 4. 

April 19 John Swift Esq: Dr. 

For printing 200 Certificates (8 on a Sheet, best Pro Pa- 
tria Paper 
May 3 Library Company of Philadelphia Dr. 

For Paper and Printing 400 Catalogues containing eleven 

Sheets, @ £3. .19. .0 per Sheet 43. 

May 11 Mr. William Clampffer Dr. 

For printing 50 Invitations on Cards 
May 13 Mr. Hugh Roberts Dr. 

For printing 100 Single advertisements for Sale of a Plan- 
tation in Bucks County 

18. 9. 

12. 6. 


7. 6. 

12. 6. 

3. 4. 

12. 6. 

9. o 

7. 6 

[ 219 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

2 6 

I. o. o. 

May 17 Library Company of Philad? Drs. 

For Printing 200 Receipts 10. O 

500 Promissory Notes 15. o 

*[June] 4 Province of Pennsylva. Dr. 

For a Proclamation, opening a Trade with the Indians (200 

Copies) 2. 10. — 

June IJ Mr. Francis Wade Dr. for printing 1000 Hand Bills (very 

long) for Sale of Goods 3. - - 

*June 15 Mr. William Peters Dr. 

For printing 200 single advertisements for opening the Land 

office (very long) I. 10. - 

June 18 Dr. John Coxe Dr. 

For Printing 200 Deeds on best Pott Paper; and 112 on 

Parchment 3. o. o 

June 19 John Swift Esq; Dr. 

For printing 200 Certificates (Quarter Sheets) 12 6 

June 20 Mrs. Cornelia Smith for Sale of Land, &c. by Vendue, 

News and Single 8 

To Cash paid a Person for sticking up the single ones 

July 4 Mr. Joseph Stretch Dr. 

For Printing 1000 Permits 
July 20 Mr. John Swift Dr. 

For printing 200 Bonds for loading foreign Melasses (i?«r Pro 
Patria Half Sheets) 

July 23 Mr. James Chattin Dr. 

For printing 60 single advertisements for Sale of Land by 

Vendue 5 — 

July 26 John Swift Esq: Dr. 

For printing 200 Certificates for loading Melasses (Quar- 
ter Sheets, Best Pro Patria) 15 - 
July 27 Estate of the late Anthony Wilkinson, Dr. 

For a Parcel of loose advertisements for Sale of Lots 5 — 

July 27 Mrs. Magdalene Devine Dr. 

For printing 1000 loose Advertisements, Folio Page, small 

Paper 2 10 - 

August 1 Mr. Jacob Cooper and Company for Sale of Lots, &c. of 

the Pennsylvania Land Company (News & Single) 12 6 

August 3 John Swift Esq: Dr. 

For printing 200 Bonds for loading Iron and Lumber 
(Half sheet, best Propatria) 1. o. O. 

For a Bond for foreign Melasses, 50 Copies (Half Sheet, 

best Propatria) 10. 

For 200 Certificates for Iron and Lumber (Quarter sheet, 

best Pro Patria) 15- 

For 50 Certificates for foreign Melasses (Quarter Sheet, 
best Pro Patria) 7- 6. 

Aug. 15 Mr. William Taite (Northumberland County, Virg a ) for 

a Runaway, News and single 8 

To Cash paid for putting up the single Advertisements 2 6 


The Product of the Colonial Press 

Aug. 20 Mr. Jacob Cooper and Company Drs. 

For printing articles of Agreement for Sale of Land of Lon- 
don Land Company ioo Copies, a Broadside (Thick Post) I 15. — 
Aug. 23 John Swift. Esq: Dr. 

For printing 200 Copies of a Ship's Report Inwards, on 

best Pro Patria Paper, Half sheets I - — 

Ditto for 100 Copies of a Ship's Report outwards, on Ditto, 

and Halfsheets 12 6 

Sept. 20 Mr. Thomas Buchanan Baker Dr. 

For printing 500 single advertisements 17 6 

Sept. 20 Philada. Library Company Dr. 

For 500 Promissory Notes IS — 

*Octr. 3 Joseph Galloway Esq ; Dr. 

For printing 1000 Copies of Governor Franklin's Answer 

to some Charges against him. &c. 2 5 - 

Octr. 11 John Swift Esq; Dr. 

For printing 100 Copies of Amount of Duties on foreign 

Sugar, &c. 7 6 

Do. for Do. on Amount of Duties on Enumerated Goods 7. 6 

Octr. 14 Mr. Francis Harris Dr. 

For printing 100 single advertisements for Sale of a house 

&c. of the late Mr. Oswald Peele 7. 6. 

Octr. 17 Messieurs Willing and Todd Drs. 

For printing a single advertisement for Sale of a house of 

Peter Shoemaker's 5- — 

Octr. 21 Mr. Francis Harris Dr. 

For printing 100 Single advertisements on a Half Sheet 

(very long) 15. - 

Octr. 29 Mr. John Todd Dr. 

For printing 200 single advertisements for a Night School 10. - 

Octr. 29 John Swift Esq; Dr. 

For printing 100 Copies of a Bond for loading Iron and 

Lumber (Half Sheets) 10. 6 

Octr. 30 Mr. Plunket Fleeson Dr. 

For printing 200 Notices for the Congregation of St. Paul's 

Church 10. - 

Novr. 2 Mr. William Parr Dr. 

For printing single advertisements for the sale of Obadiah 

Elliot's House &c. 5. o 

Novr. 2 John Swift, Esq: Dr. 

For printing 200 Permits for Sailing 10 

Novr. 5 Messieurs Willing and Todd Drs. 

For printing single advertisements for the sale of a House 

of Peter Shoemaker's — 5 ~~ 

Novr. 7 Mr. William Parr Dr. 

For printing single advertisements for the Sale of Obadiah 

Elliot's House - 5 - 

[ 221 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Novr. 12 Mr. William Parr Dr. 

For printing single advertisements for the Sale of John 

Buchanan's Household Goods - 5 - 

Novr. 14 Mr. William Parr Dr. 

For printing single advertisements for the Sale of John 

Wasley's Household Goods — 5 - 

Novr. 25 St. Andrew's Society Dr. 

For printing a single advertisement for their yearly Meet- 
ing - S - 
Deer. 6 Managers of Pennsylvania Hospital Drs. 

For printing four different promissory Notes, 200 Copies 

each 2 — o — O 

Deer. 10 Mr. William Parr Dr. 

For printing single advertisements for Sale of Thomas Mc- 
Millan's Goods - 5 - 
Deer. 10 John Dickinson Esq: Dr. 

For printing 2000 Copies of an Address to the Inhabitants 

of Pennsylvania 3— 5 — 

Deer. 13 Mr. Jospeh Stretch Dr. 

For printing 1000 Certificates 1 — 10 — 

Deer. 17 John Swift Esq: Dr. 

For printing 100 Certificates (Quarter Sheets) 7 — 6 

Ditto for 100 Copies of Amount of Duties on foreign 

Sugars, &c. 7 — 6 

*Decr. 20 Joseph Galloway Esq: Dr. 

For printing 400 Copies of his Vindication relating to open- 
ing the Publick Offices 1 — 15—0 
Deer. 27 Dr. Samuel Preston Moore Dr. 

For printing 100 Promissory Notes for the Linen Manu- 
factory 7 — 6 
Deer. 29 John Swift Esq: Dr. 

For printing 100 Copies of a Bond for loading Iron and \ 

Lumber (Half Sheet, best Pro Patria) I 0-12-6 

100 Certificates for Ditto (Quarter Sheets, Do.) 10 - o 

Deer. 31 Doctor Samuel Preston Moore Dr. 

For printing 300 Notices for the Contributors to the Linen 

Manufactory to meet 17 — 6 

Analysis of the Work Book and of the Campbell list for 
1765 shows such a paucity of works of a literary character 
as might lead one to believe that the Americans of this period 
were entirely without interest in polite letters. Contradiction 
of this assumption is provided, however, by the known facts 
of the trade in imported books, so that without derogation 


The Product of the Colonial Press 

of the literary interests of the race it may be admitted that 
the American press was still utilitarian in its service to the 
people, and that American writers were still providing them 
chiefly with utilitarian matter. It was more economical at 
this time to procure works of European belles lettres in for- 
eign editions than to attempt their republication in this 
country. The Campbell list for 1765 shows only six pieces 
of a literary character — regarding sermons, catechisms, prim- 
ers, and almanacs as works of literature — while the Work 
Book shows only one piece— a library catalogue— that a sim- 
ilar generosity of definition may bring within that category. 
Of the seventy-four pieces appearing in the Work Book rep- 
resenting jobs done by the firm for its patrons, thirty -five, or 
nearly one-half, were blank forms, bills, or tickets, while 
twenty-four were advertisements and notices, usually oc- 
cupying single sheets of varying size. The remaining items 
were government proclamations, political documents, and 
miscellaneous pieces designed to serve the workaday interests 
of group or community. 

In the past century, knowledge of the way people lived 
and of what they thought in any period has been assuming 
increasingly higher value in the estimation of historians. Oc- 
casionally a writer is found who perceives that the produc- 
tions of the press provide an opportunity for understanding 
the forces that customarily set in motion, or inhibit, the 
political, social, and religious activities of the period he is 
discussing, and once this truth has taken possession of him, 
his study and analysis of the bibliographies become fascinat- 
ing to himself and profitable to his readers. His task has been 
simplified in this country by the publication of various gen- 
eral and special bibliographies which, sympathetically used, 
enlighten the historian as to the daily lives and thoughts of 

[ 223 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the people he must strive to understand. It is not possible to 
go deeply into the subject here, but it will be entertaining, at 
least, to continue our analysis of the colonial press by calling 
attention to the character of its staple productions. We shall 
speak briefly of the blank form, the assembly document, the 
almanac, the newspaper, the sermon, the legal handbook, the 
household assistant, the merchant's and the clerk's guide, and 
the separately printed advertisement. 

The Printed Blank Form 

In examining the records of the colonial communities, one 
is appalled by the amount of legal and official business that 
was transacted in this new country, but whoever else may 
have been the sufferer by this frequent lawing, it is certain 
that it was not the printer. The necessity of keeping on hand 
a supply of official blank forms for the use of all who might 
have need of them was by no means a hardship to the printer ; 
on the contrary, there is evidence that he regarded the profits 
from the sale of this staple as the "velvet" of his business. 

The very first thing known to have been printed in Eng- 
lish America was the Freeman's Oath of 1639, a form con- 
taining propositions to which each man in the Massachusetts 
colony must give his assent as a condition of citizenship. It 
needs no more than a glance at Worthington C. Ford's Broad- 
sides, Ballads, &c. Printed in Massachusetts, i6jg—i8oo, to 
convince us that the issue of blank forms in Boston and Cam- 
bridge was not limited to this notable example of the type. 
We find the same conditions in the other colonies. James 
Franklin, of Newport, who began to issue blanks of all sorts 
soon after the establishment of his press, advertised in 1728 
that he had for sale "Bonds, Bills, Powers of Attorney, Paper 

[ 224 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

by the Ream, Snuff, Tea, and Coffee"; and William God- 
dard of Providence let it be known in 1762 that he had, "to 
be sold cheap for ready Money . . . Blanks, Policies of In- 
surance, Portage Bills, Bills of Lading and Sale, Letters of 
Attorney, Administration Bonds, common Bonds, Deeds, 
Writs, and Executions, and all Kinds of Blanks used in this 
Colony, either Wholesale or Retail." In announcing, in De- 
cember, 1685, tne inauguration in Pennsylvania of "that 
great Art and Mystery of Printing," William Bradford 
called attention to the fact that he was able to supply such 
blank forms as were needed in the conduct of the business of 
that Province. Benjamin Franklin wrote in his Autobiog- 
raphy. "I now [about 1730] open'd a little stationer's shop. 
I had in it blanks of all sorts," a statement which he elabo- 
rated with his usual complacency by the assertion that his 
forms were "the correctest that ever appear'd among us." 
Whether his rivals in the trade would have consented to this 
dictum is doubtful, but it is certain that the public seemed 
to appreciate the quality of his productions. How many blank 
forms he sold over the counter to individual purchasers is not 
known, but his Account Books show for the period 1730-1735 
a total of 16,800 blanks printed on order and charged therein 
at about £112. Even at his Passy press, blank forms were an 
important part of Franklin's output. In Maryland every 
printer of the colonial period seems to have done a tidy busi- 
ness in the production and sale of this staple of the trade. In 
1693, William Nuthead got into serious trouble with the 
royal governor of Maryland by taking an order to print 500 
blank land warrants running in the name of the dispossessed 
Proprietary, and as a consequence of his indiscretion he was 
ordered to print thereafter nothing but "blank bills & Bonds, 
without leave from his Excy or the further Order of this 

[ 225 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Board." In the "License to Print" which Nuthead's widow 
received from the Governor in 1696, it was specified that 
Dinah should forfeit her bond if she printed without "a par- 
ticular Lycense from his Exncy" anything except "blank 
bills bonds writts warrants of Attorney Letters of Admrcon 
and other like blanks." Years later, in asking for and receiv- 
ing a similar privilege, Thomas Reading intimated that the 
Nutheads had been favored by an ordinance "obliging all 
Clerks, Commissarys, Sheriffs, and other Officers to make use 
of printed Blanks." When William Bladen brought in a 
press in 1700, the ordinance which was passed for his encour- 
agement provided that all blank legal forms used in the Prov- 
ince should be printed, and specified the prices at which he 
should sell them to officials and to others in need of them. 2 

A sufficient number of instances has been cited to show 
that the trade in printed legal forms was an important part 
of the business of the colonial printer, and it may be taken 
for granted that as the century grew old and business became 
more diversified, a corresponding increase occurred in the 
number and variety of the necessary commercial forms. In 
colonies where only one printer was employed, the pecuniary 
returns from this department of his business must have fig- 
ured largely in the statement of his profits, while in others, 
Pennsylvania for example, the printer who turned out the 
"correctest" and the neatest must have been rewarded almost 
as surely as the monopolists of Maryland and Virginia. 

The Government Work 

In another part of this work it has been asserted that the 
printing shops in most of the original colonies were set up 
with the encouragement of governments which desired to 

[ 226 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

publish their laws in printed form and to put out in type the 
many instruments— proclamations and the like— formerly 
copied with much labor by scribes not necessarily either skil- 
ful, accurate, or reliable, and afterwards published by the 
county sheriffs through the ancient and limited method of 
proclamation by word of mouth. It was this government 
work that gave the earliest printers means to defray their 
overhead while they sought additional outside work to pro- 
vide their profit. The lot of the government printer was im- 
proved when, in 1695, William Bradford printed for the 
New York Assembly the first set of Votes & Proceedings pub- 
lished in type in this country. The other colonial assemblies 
slowly began giving their journals to the printer, though it 
happened that in Maryland, the regular publication of the 
assembly deliberations was established only after a sharp 
struggle between the representatives of the Proprietary on 
the one hand and the more liberal burgesses on the other. 
That there was immediate appreciation of the importance of 
the printer in the government work one may learn from the 
introductions to various early collections of laws, with their 
expressions of thankfulness to the printer for the opportunity 
his enterprise had afforded government, courts, and people 
to know the law of the colony. In the dedication to the Mary- 
land Laws of 1700, the new condition is mentioned with 
gratitude; and again in 1718, the publisher of the compila- 
tion of that year refers to the previously existing situation 
in which the Laws were found only in "Ill-Written Manu- 
scripts, Lodged in the Hands of particular Officers, and not 
more than Twelve or Fourteen of them in the whole Prov- 
ince." In Virginia this appreciation of an important function 
of the printer found expression in an ode in which the author 
spoke exultantly of a forthcoming publication, the Collection 

[ 227 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

of all the Acts of Virginia, Williamsburg, 1733, which was to 

contain : 

. . . Virginia's Laws, that lay 
In blotted Manuscripts obscur'd 

By vulgar Eyes unread, 
Which whilome scarce the Light endur'd 
Begin to view again the Day, 
As rising from the Dead. 3 

The Almanac 

Every colonial printer who aspired to anything more than 
the position of job printer sought to render his establishment 
useful to the community by the publication of an annual 
almanac. The change in habits, the diffusion of meteorolog- 
ical information by means of the newspaper, the publication 
by the government of The A merican Ephemeris and Nauti- 
cal Almanac are the agencies which for most of us have rele- 
gated the old-time almanac to the category of quaint and out- 
worn institutions. Even now, however, there are many coun- 
try dwellers in New England who regulate their lives by The 
Old Farmer s Almanac, or in Maryland and Virginia, who 
plant and reap by The Hagerstown Almanack, or, in these 
places and elsewhere, many who make daily use of less well- 
known publications, issued sometimes as advertisements. And 
there are thousands in city offices who never move far from 
The World Almanac or from some other modern descendant 
of Poor Richard— those amazing compends of statistical in- 
formation and scientific knowledge. The almanac in some 
form has been the constant companion of man since he be- 
came aware of the regular recurrence of sun rising and sun 
setting. In the American colonies, the printed ephemeris 
served a maritime and agricultural folk in the changes of 

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The Product of the Colonial Press 

sun, moon, and tide, in the coming of seed-time and harvest, 
as a calendar, and as a means of weather prognostication. It 
served them no less well by the extraneous information it con- 
tained in the form of dates of local court sessions, of sched- 
ules of post riders and of coaches and packet boats. It gave 
them verse of a serious or comic character, prescriptions for 
the cure of snake bites and fluxes, and provided them, in one 
case certainly, with perilous information in the form of a 
recipe "by which Meat, ever so stinking, may be made as 
sweet and wholesome, in a few Minutes, as any Meat at all." 
In the pages of Poor Richard were found those exordiums to 
industry, temperance, and frugality which, admirable and 
necessary, have put a premium on shrewdness and the baser 
virtues, and caused them to assume unfortunately high rank 
among the national ideals. 

A recent investigation of the colonial almanac has brought 
out the fact that in the years preceding the Revolution these 
little books of domestic utility abounded in brief and, fre- 
quently, outspoken political essays which must be taken into 
account among the writings that influenced the people of the 
colonies in their progress towards separation from Britain— 
a circumstance provocative of thought to the historian who 
goes beneath the surface of events to the hearts and minds 
and way of living of the men who bring them about. The fa- 
miliar handbook of every member of the household, pored 
over in the winter evenings by father and sons, mother and 
daughters, these little books of utility take on in view of this 
feature of their content greater importance among American 
writings than they have formerly been credited with. 4 

For the production of this admirable necessity to public 
happiness, the printer tried to associate with himself some 
person skilled in mathematics who should be able to compile 

[ 229 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

annually an almanac for the local meridian. The fame of 
Poor Richard has been so great since the days of his first ap- 
pearance that the layman thinks of his work as comprising the 
sum of colonial calendar making, but Poor Robin, Abraham 
Weatherwise, Theophilus Grew, John Warner, Benjamin 
West, Nathaniel Ames, Benjamin Banneker the negro sci- 
entist, and numerous other pseudonymous and undisguised 
writers prepared almanacs of excellent quality for the print- 
ers of their communities to issue regularly in the fall of each 
year. For reasons universally understood, almanac publica- 
tion has provided a study of undying interest in every land 
the sun shines on. For the American student who strives to 
understand the present and to forecast the future by an inti- 
mate knowledge of the past, that room of 15,000 almanacs 
in the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester is at once 
a monument and a shrine. 

The Newspaper 

As early as 1 789 an English writer found the popularity 
of the American newspaper explained by its quality. "The 
newspapers of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, 
Pennsylvania and Maryland," he wrote, "are unequalled, 
whether considered with respect to wit and humour, enter- 
tainment or instruction. Every capital town on the continent 
prints a weekly paper, and several of them have one or more 
daily papers." Some day, a writer on the newspaper press 
described in these words will tell a fascinating story of the 
racial characteristics, the local conditions of the isolated 
country, and the trade and occupations of its people, that 
brought about this eventration of its early imitative efforts 
at newspaper publication. 

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The Product of the Colonial Press 

In the Spanish American countries, as in Spain, the peri- 
odical newspaper was slow in taking hold of the imagina- 
tion of printer and people. Instead of it, there existed the 
form of news conveyance known as the relation, usually a 
single sheet folded once and issued without periodicity and 
with neither fixed title nor numeration. It contained either 
a budget of foreign news items brought in by a ship master 
or a full relation of a single local or foreign event of ex- 
traordinary importance and interest. The relation had its 
counterpart in all countries: in English America the type 
persisted in the broadside published occasionally by the 
printer to communicate news of importance received between 
the regular issues of his journal. Perhaps the logical and 
economic Latin mind could see no need for a regular news 
sheet that often failed to convey real news, and served merely 
as an advertising medium and as a means of proclaiming the 
routine court and business activities of the community. On 
the other hand, the periodical news sheet, with all its dis- 
advantages and wastefulness, met a need of the English race 
at home and abroad, and today the newspaper of the Eng- 
lish-speaking peoples is certainly a more elaborate and more 
highly developed publication than that of other nations, even 
if it is not superior to them in the efficacy of its purpose. In 
the English-speaking world the eighteenth century saw the 
acceptance of newspaper publication as a social necessity. 
The few and unsatisfactory news sheets of the earlier cen- 
turies, held within bounds in England as to number and geo- 
graphical distribution by the press restriction acts, were lost 
in the flood of journals that began to issue from the press 
after the expiration of the last of these statutes in the year 
1693. A brief study of Allnutt's English Provincial Presses 
for the early years of the ensuing century shows the rapidity 

[ 231 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

with which the printers, newly established in the smaller 
English towns, began the issue of weekly journals for the 
edification and information of their communities. The first 
English provincial newspaper recorded by Mr. Allnutt is The 
Norwich Post, begun in 1 70 1 . Thereafter, progress was rapid ; 
we soon have The Worcester Post-Man, The Newcastle 
Courant, The Stamford Mercury, and their following, all 
with names denoting the idea of sheets taken damp from the 
press and speedily conveyed to the reader, picturesque names 
carried on in sense and in spirit by the American printers in 
their early adoption of newspaper publication as a normal 
and profitable activity of the printing shop. The quickly sup- 
pressed Publick Occurrences of Boston, 1690, marks the first 
tentative step towards newspaper publication in the colonies, 
and The Boston News-Letter of 1704 stands as the monu- 
ment of its permanent establishment. For some reason, not 
dissociated, perhaps, from the difficulty of procuring paper, 
the progress of journalism was slow in the first quarter of 
the century, but by the year 1730, seven journals were in 
current publication in four colonies. After that it was a poor 
or an unambitious printer who failed to make the effort, even 
if he did no more, to add a weekly newspaper to the output 
of his shop. 

Between the years 1694 and 1820, there were published 
in the thirty states in existence at the close of the period 
1934 different newspapers. The establishment of a weekly 
journal, with its subscription list and advertisements form- 
ing a regular source of income, was the ambition of every 
progressive printer, but that newspaper publication was a 
precarious venture, even in communities favorable to such 
enterprises, is impressively brought to the attention by fur- 
ther investigation of the statistical history of American jour- 

[ 232 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

nalism. Five hundred and eighty-six of the 1934 newspapers 
recorded died of inanition at or before the close of their first 
year of life, while a still larger number of the remainder, 
637, failed to survive a period of four years of struggle. 
Three hundred and ninety-one ran from five to ten years, and 
only 362 continued publication for a decade or longer. This 
high mortality among the newspapers can be best accounted 
for by the lack of capital of their promoters, an ever-present 
factor in lost causes, and by the difficulty experienced at va- 
rious times and places of securing a steady supply of reason- 
ably cheap paper. 

In general, the publication of newspapers followed the 
growth of commercial activity. With ninety-eight papers in 
this period, Philadelphia surpassed the more conservatively 
commercial Boston with its record of seventy-one, while New 
York, pushing ahead of its rivals in all material activities, pub- 
lished in the same period a total of 127 journals. It is perhaps 
further evidence of the conservatism of Boston, that of the 
three cities, it could count the greatest proportionate number 
of newspapers which maintained their existence for ten or 
more years of consecutive publication, eighteen as opposed to 
the twenty-two of Philadelphia and the twenty-three of New 
York. The opening of the western country added greatly to 
the output of the newspaper press, for its activities were not 
at all confined to the larger centers. Where the people went, 
the printer quickly followed, and the western printer who 
failed to begin publication of a newspaper as soon as his press 
was set up and his type in the cases was unworthy of the vig- 
orous young community he served. Between 1793 and 1820, 
Ohio published ninety periodical journals and, beginning six 
years earlier, Kentucky came a close second with eighty-four 
publications of the same character. The mental activity of 

[ 233 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the country in this particular period had been vitally stimu- 
lated by the separation from Great Britain. On their own 
politically, and placed on trial before the world by their 
Declaration of Independence and their Constitution, the citi- 
zens assumed an interest in public affairs as a patriotic duty. 
Each man must know the trend of events in order to protect 
the liberty he and his fathers had acquired and to justify the 
expense of the great experiment in the eyes of the watching 
world. The newspaper, self-conscious champion of the prin- 
ciples the country stood for, met the citizen's need for infor- 
mation, and now formed, now voiced, his opinion. There is 
no need to comment upon the newspaper's influence as the 
maker of opinion, but some student with a cynical turn may 
yet give us a study of the influence of popular opinion on 
newspaper policy. 

The colonial newspaper was a weekly periodical of two 
leaves, of which nearly a half was normally composed of local 
advertising matter. Its news section was compiled from ex- 
changes and from foreign letters. Such local news as ap- 
peared consisted largely of items that drifted into the office 
or were so general in interest as to demand publication. The 
reporter was unknown, and a man's personal affairs were gen- 
erally regarded as of no interest to the public. Every editor 
made a point of beseeching the local amateurs of literature 
to send him poems and essays for his literary corner, and the 
material published in this department forms an excellent 
cultural index of the community. There were times when 
lethargy in composition seized the local writers, and the 
editor was compelled to fill his space with literary articles 
from the English magazines or from the published writings 
of familiar authors. At such times the complaints of the sub- 
scribers were caustically expressed to the printer, who in 

[ 234 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

reply would give voice to his bitter disappointment at the 
lack of support accorded locally to this department of his 

The successful outcome of John Peter Zenger's trial, in 
1734, gave the printer a freedom that he soon availed him- 
self of and a consequent authority that everyone seems to 
have recognized. The last battle for the freedom of the press 
was that which William Goddard waged against a force more 
powerful than governmental interference, namely, the force 
of public opinion. When the Maryland Assembly, in 1779, 
upheld Goddard's right to publish matter disagreeable to his 
neighbors, and made a working principle of the phrase in its 
Declaration of Rights, "that the liberty of the press ought to 
be inviolably preserved," the newspaper found itself estab- 
lished in this country as the Fourth Estate. 5 

Not the least important feature of the newspaper was its 
function as the vehicle of local advertising. In the imprint, 
or elsewhere, from almost the earliest times the printer named 
the rates at which advertisements were published, and before 
long he began actively to seek enlargement of this phase of 
his business. One of the earliest statements of a theory of 
advertising occurs in a notice in the Virginia Gazette of Oc- 
tober 8, 1736, when the printer, William Parks, published 
the following : 

Advertisement, concerning Advertisements 

"All Persons who have Occasion to buy or sell Houses, 
Lands, Goods, or Cattle; or have Servants or Slaves Run- 
away; or have lost Horses, Cattle, &c. or want to give any 
Publick Notice ; may have it advertis'd in all these Gazettes 
printed in one Week, for Three Shillings, and for Two Shil- 
lings per Week for as many Weeks afterwards as they shall 

[ 235 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

order, by giving or sending their Directions to the Printer 

"And, as these Papers will circulate (as speedily as pos- 
sible) not only all over This, but also the Neighboring Colo- 
nies, and will probably be read by some Thousands of People, 
it is very likely they may have the desir'd Effect; and it is 
certainly the cheapest and most effectual Method that can 
be taken, for publishing any Thing of this Nature." 

The shy appearance in these words of the spirit of modern 
advertising prefigures the greatest change the general print- 
ing trade has undergone in the five hundred years of its his- 
tory. The application to its processes of power machinery 
effected little but a change in the mechanics of printing. The 
development of commercial advertising has changed its char- 
acter, its very reason for being. It has narrowed its interests 
and confined its energies to the execution of a single purpose. 
To Parks and the printers of his day, advertising was simply 
one means of gain among the several offered by the practice 
of their craft. The normal printing establishment of today 
exists as an appendage to the advertising agency. 

The Magazine 

A type of publication too much neglected by historians, 
general and special, is the colonial periodical. As in the case 
of the newspaper, the American periodical took over the form 
and manner already established for this kind of publication 
in England. Indeed, the earliest example of the periodical 
publication to be presented to American readers was a reprint 
of The Independent Whig of London, issued weekly for 
twenty numbers in Philadelphia in 1 724. Franklin's contemp- 
tuous references to Samuel Keimer, its publisher, have belit- 

[ 236 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

tied an interesting and eccentric figure in American literary 
history. But though we may quarrel with the youthful judg- 
ments of Franklin as unnecessarily harsh where his rivals 
were concerned, it is impossible to avoid acknowledgment of 
his beneficent influence upon every aspect of the American 
printing trade. To Franklin must be given credit for the first 
conception of an original American monthly magazine. He 
tells us nothing in the Autobiography of John Webbe's be- 
trayal to Andrew Bradford of his plans for the initiation of 
his project, and of Bradford's immediate determination to 
institute a rival periodical. The Philadelphia newspapers, 
however, for several issues of the months preceding the pub- 
lication of the rival magazines, record the details of this in- 
cident in the conflict for supremacy, long-continued and 
bitter, between Franklin and the Bradfords. Each of the pub- 
lications which ensued upon this struggle bore as the date of 
its first issue, January, 1740/41, and though it is true that 
The American Magazine from Bradford's office appeared 
in February, three days earlier than Franklin's publication, 
The General Magazine, it must nevertheless be allowed that 
the credit for this beginning of magazine publication in Amer- 
ica belongs to the victim of John Webbe's double dealing. 
Franklin's magazine continued publication for six months; 
its rival expired after three issues. Following these there came 
in Boston two short-lived periodicals : Rogers & Fowle's The 
Boston Weekly Magazine, with a life of three issues from 
March 2 to March 16, 1743; and The Christian History, 
another weekly, which Kneeland & Greene, with Thomas 
Prince, Jr., as editor and publisher, were able to issue regu- 
larly for two years from March 5, 1743, to February 23, 
1745. In September, 1743, The American Magazine and 
Historical Chronicle, initiated by Rogers & Fowle of Boston, 

[ 237 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

and conducted with the cooperation of printers in other 
cities, began a life of three useful years, "the first real maga- 
zine," one learns from the introduction to Beer's Checklist, 
"to live beyond a few numbers." During the remainder of the 
century the periodicals most representative of the place and 
time seem to have been The A merican Magazine, published 
by William Bradford of Philadelphia, and edited by the 
Reverend William Smith; Isaiah Thomas's two ventures, 
The Royal American Magazine and The Massachusetts 
Magazine; The Pennsylvania Magazine, published by Rob- 
ert Aitken, and edited by Thomas Paine; The Columbian 
Magazine, begun by Matthew Carey and carried on by va- 
rious publishers of Philadelphia ; and Carey's later and very 
successful periodical, The American Museum. All these, save 
Isaiah Thomas's Massachusetts publications, were enterprises 
of the Philadelphia press. The New York press joins this 
representative group with Noah Webster's The American 
Magazine, published by S. & J. Loudon, and The New-York 
Magazine of T. & J. Swords. The last-named periodical 
shares with The Massachusetts Magazine the distinction of 
having attained eight years of publication. The figures for 
the century show that twenty periodicals were begun between 
1741 and 1776, one during the Revolution, and seventy-nine 
between 1783 and 1800, a total of one hundred separate 
publications. More or less complete files remain of eighty- 
eight of these periodicals. Philadelphia led the list of places 
of publication with twenty-eight titles, New York came sec- 
ond with eighteen, while Boston came third with one less 
than its nearer rival. The Middle Atlantic colonies, outside 
New York and Philadelphia, produced sixteen titles, and one 
periodical was published in Charleston, South Carolina. The 
desire of printer and people for the publication of periodical 

[ 238 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

magazines seems to have been as urgent and as widespread as 
for the issuance of newspapers. About sixty of these period- 
icals seem to have been general and literary in intention ; the 
remainder were either religious or political, or else devoted 
to such special interests as the farm and the household, and 
to the fine arts in the form of music. Except for the publica- 
tions with an agricultural tendency, there were no special 
trade journals, and no "house organs." A radical publication 
appeared in the form of The Scourge of Aristocracy, pub- 
lished by James Lyon in 1798, in Vermont, and its establish- 
ment was attempted again by the same publisher as a weekly 
in Virginia in 1800. Two Pennsylvania magazines were is- 
sued in the German language, and Samuel Hall, in 1789, 
brought out twenty-six issues of a periodical in French with 
the title, Courier de Boston. 

The periodical press here briefly analyzed was no small 
factor in the cultural life of the nation. Until the appearance 
in 1930 of Frank Luther Mott's History of American Maga- 
zines, and in 1931 of Lyon N. Richardson's History of Early 
A merican Magazines, 1741— iy8g, little effort had been made 
by the literary historian to describe its product and to evalu- 
ate its influence. 6 

The Printed Sermon 

Another staple issue of the colonial press was the printed 
sermon. In the middle and southern colonies the printed 
sermon was only an occasional publication, though it is true 
that, regardless of section, sermons preached at the opening 
of the Assembly, on patriotic anniversaries, or on other oc- 
casions of public interest, frequently found their way into 
print. Controversial sermons, too, found support from the 

[ 239 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

adherents of both parties to the controversy, wherever it 
might rage, but in general, the sermon was not a notably 
important staple of the printing houses south of New Eng- 
land. In that section, however, it bulked large among the 
extra-governmental issues of the press. In addition to the 
causes for publication that have been named as existing else- 
where, the printing of sermons as a private enterprise by the 
preachers themelves assumed in New England the propor- 
tions of a trade. In their presentation of this matter there 
was to be observed none of the false modesty, the deprecating 
apology, with which printed sermons are often introduced to 
the public as "published by request." The people demanded 
pious reading and their pastors saw that they got it. There 
was little speculative theology in the type of sermon com- 
monly published. Good stiff doctrine of a denominational 
character, and admonitory discourses, bristling sometimes 
with threats of punishment, seem to have given satisfaction 
to preacher and people alike. This, of course, is only one face 
of the coin. An unprejudiced reading of the New England 
Sermon, as the type is called, reveals many sweetnesses of 
character, many aspects of truth and spiritual beauty, and a 
sense of religious reality that were valuable factors in form- 
ing the complex character of the New England that came to 
its flower in Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

The Legal Handbook 

The Short-Title Catalogue of English books from 1475— 
1640 records twenty-seven different issues of The Boke of 
Justices of Peas and ten issues of Sir Anthony Fitzherbert's 
Newe Boke of Justices of the Peas, translated from the Anglo- 
French work, U office et auctoryte des Justices de Peas. During 

[ 240 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

the ensuing century in England, this ancient handbook of pro- 
cedure, forms, and elementary legal principles continued to 
be issued in various improved, revised, and emended editions, 
and in the colonies, the printers of the eighteenth century is- 
sued at intervals various versions of this useful vade mecum 
for the unprofessional judge and notarial officer. George 
Webb's The Office and Authority of a Justice of Peace, Wil- 
liamsburg, 1736; the Conductor Generalis, of which three 
editions were issued in Philadelphia between 1722 and 1750, 
and one in New York as late as 1788; An Abridgment of 
Burn's Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer, of Boston, 
1773, and Dover, New Hampshire, 1792; and various other 
forms of the old book with local adaptations, were found 
among the staple issues of the colonial printing office. The 
popular "Burn's Justice" is even found as Le Juge a. Paix, 
issuing from the Montreal press of Fleury Mesplet in 1789. 
In this edition of the old manual we see the completed circle : 
after some centuries of existence as an English handbook it 
has returned, somewhat altered, to the language of its origin 
for use among the Canadian descendants of the people for 
whom it was originally composed. In New Orleans, in 1769, 
a book of Instructions sur la maniere de former & de dresser 
les Proces Civils, &c. designed to aid the administration of 
the Spanish law, was printed in both French and Spanish. A 
List of legal Treatises in the British Colonies and the Ameri- 
can States before 180 1, by Eldon R. James records forty edi- 
tions and issues of those legal handbooks which had their ori- 
gin in the ancient French compend for the guidance of the 
justice of the peace. A book founded on the English and pro- 
vincial laws, especially as regards probate and the law of in- 
heritance, more specifically local in its character, was The 
Deputy Commissary's Guide, compiled by Elie Vallette at 

[ hi ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Annapolis in 1774. Certain very general principles of law- 
found publication in such compendiums as Every Man his 
Own Lawyer, announced by Franklin in 1736, issued by 
Hugh Gaine in 1768, and by John Dunlap of Philadelphia 
in the next year. 

Medical Handbooks, Ready Reckoners, Letter 
Writers, and Books of Domestic Utility 

There were other types of publication that came indiffer- 
ently from the presses of North and South, and in a day 
when there were no copyright restrictions, certain books is- 
sued originally in Philadelphia, Williamsburg, or Boston 
appeared often in other colonies bearing another printer's 
name and with no indication of the place of original issue. 
Sometimes, it is true, these publications appeared simultane- 
ously, or successively, in two or more colonies by arrange- 
ment with the author, but often the piracy was outright. It 
is not intended here to give a bibliographic history of these 
titles; the editions cited are taken at random from the vari- 
ous general and special lists. As in the case of the justice of 
the peace books already described, many of these types, in 
title and in general intention, and doubtless often in contents, 
too, were reissues, under new conditions, of handbooks of ear- 
lier centuries in England, the useful information compendi- 
ums that met a need of the race. J. Archer's Every Man his 
Own Doctor of London, 1673, found its American counter- 
part, at least in title and in purpose, in John Tennent's Every 
Man his Own Doctor, or The Poor Planter s Physician, which 
appeared first at Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1734, and again 
in Philadelphia, in 1734 and in 1736. It was incorporated, 

[ 242 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

in 1748, in the Philadelphia edition of George Fisher's A mer- 
ican Instructor. When announcing the issue of this medical 
handbook in 1736, and a concurrent issue of Every Man his 
Own Lawyer, Franklin loosed his pawky humor in declar- 
ing that these books would soon be followed by Every Man 
his Own Priest. Hugh Gaine advertised, in 1761, an edition 
of a book popular even today with mistress and maid, The 
Complete Letter Writer. Business manuals of different kinds 
came from various enterprising presses. One of the first things 
printed by William Parks after he set up his press in Wil- 
liamsburg, in 1730, was The Dealer s Pocket Companion. 
This book was a forerunner of Robert Biscoe's Merchant' s 
Magazine, which the same printer brought out in 1 743, and 
of the same class with Falgate's Dealer s Companion, printed 
by Andrew Steuart in Philadelphia in 1760. Another of the 
type was The Merchant' s Security, that came from the newly 
established Wilmington press in 1761. In a country where a 
storekeeper was not necessarily an arithmetician, where the 
pound currency in one colony differed in value from the pound 
currency of the neighboring colony and each differed in value 
from the pound sterling, and where Spanish money was cur- 
rent, these "ready reckoners," as they were sometimes called, 
performed a service of easily perceptible value to all classes 
of people. It was by reference to one of the many tables 
found in books of this kind that a shopkeeper might tell at a 
glance the price in pounds, shillings, and pence of ten yards 
and two feet of cloth at is. 6d. a yard, and, by consultation 
of another table, be enabled to return in the currency of his 
community the correct change from the two pounds sterling 
offered by the customer in payment. 

Another variation of the business manual was the work 
issued first by William Bradford in New York, in 1705, with 

[ 243 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the title, The Young Man's Companion, and published fre- 
quently thereafter by him and others as The Young Secre- 
tary' 's Guide, or as The Young Clerk' 's Vade Mecum. These 
books have a certain distinction as prototypes of the arith- 
metical school-book, but they were more than this in that 
they taught also the art of business letter writing, and of 
making out bills and bonds, and other requirements of the 
young in the world of commerce. 

Books for the household, familiar enough now in country 
houses, came steadily from the eighteenth-century press in 
America. The Compleat Housewife; or accomplished Gentle- 
woman's Companion: Being a Collection of upwards of Five 
Hundred of the most approved Receipts, printed by William 
Parks in 1742, and known only by the copy in the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society, may serve as the exemplar of the 
type, especially as it has the distinction of being the earliest 
cook-book to come from the American press. In 1748, Frank- 
lin brought out the ninth edition of George Fisher's A?nerican 
Instructor, a book that pretended to be a universal compend 
of the information contained in several of the types that have 
been mentioned. It taught spelling, the three R's, letter writ- 
ing, business accounts and forms, American geography and 
statistics, carpentry, mechanical rules, prices, rates, wages, 
the use of the sliding rule, gauging, dialling, dyeing, and 
color making. It included also Tennent's Poor Planter's Phy- 
sician, and gave instructions to the housewife in the care of 
linen, in the making of pickles, preserves, plasters, and wine, 
the "whole better adapted to these American colonies, than 
any other Book of the like Kind." 7 

[ 244 1 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

School-books, Chapbooks, Ballads, and 
other Ephemera 

Certain other staples of the press, especially of the New Eng- 
land press, are so well remembered that there is need to speak 
of them here only as types. Latin grammars and school-books 
of all sorts, primers, New England and Royal, Psalters with 
and without the music, catechisms, moralized chapbooks il- 
lustrated by hideous woodcuts— these were the commonplace 
items of publication that have their special historians and 
bibliographers and, above all, their collectors. No fewer than 
112 editions of arithmetical school-books, to take one type 
as an example, came from the American press between 1705 
and 1799. In New England, too, the printing of ballads seems 
to have flourished more notably than elsewhere in the coun- 
try. No private tragedy or public event could come to pass 
that the chapbook printer did not call upon his bard to im- 
mortalize it in verse, and while the sheets were still coming 
from the press send forth his ballad-mongers to gather the half- 
pennies of a curious populace. Worthington C. Ford's Broad- 
sides, Ballads, &c. Printed in Massachusetts, already grate- 
fully cited in this work, has made it plain that this field of 
publication was not only a regular and picturesque feature 
of the printer's activity in and around Boston, but an activity 
particularly suggestive of the recreational interests of the 
local populace. It is not to be doubted that similar interests 
were served in others of the colonies, but whether to the same 
relative degree is a question that will be determined only 
after other bibliographers have made intensive studies of 
the sort conducted by Mr. Ford for Massachusetts. The ear- 
liest of the broadside verses, and these hardly come into the 

[ 245 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

class of ballad literature, were the funeral elegies written by 
learned divines to signalize the passing of brother clergymen 
or of well-respected parishioners. A Copy of Verses made by 
that Reverend Man of God Mr. John Wilson, Pastor to the 
first church in Boston; on the sudden Death of Mr. Joseph 
Brisco, Who was translated from Earth to Heaven Jan. I. 
1657, printed presumably by Samuel Green in Cambridge 
soon after the event memorialized, may serve as the type of 
the funeral elegies which continued to come from the Massa- 
chusetts press for many years. The taste of the people for 
narratives of horror combined with pietistic admonition 
found gratification in the dying speeches of criminals and 
the versified records of their careers. Such a piece was The 
Wages of Sin; . . . A Poem Occasioned by the untimely Death 
of Richard Wilson, who was executed on Boston Neck, for 
Burglary . . . the igth of October, 1732, and such was A 
Mournful Poem on the Death of John Ormsby and Matthew 
Cushing, . . . executed on Boston Neck, the 17th of October, 
1734. Verses of this grim variety, no grimmer of course, than 
the stories of crime with which our daily journals abound, 
were normally decorated with extremely crude but effective 
cuts representing the cart, the gallows, a hanging body or 
bodies, and an attentive audience. But other local events of 
importance found their laureates as well as the deaths of 
saints and sinners. One learns from the Autobiography that 
the very youthful Benjamin Franklin came forward with 
ballads on at least two occasions, once to sing a shipwreck 
and once the capture of the pirate Blackbeard. A victory over 
the Indians was sure to bring out one or more poems. Love- 
well's defeat of the Indians at Pigwacket was celebrated in 
The Voluntier s March, advertised by James Franklin as 
"An Excellent new Song" just published on May 31, 1725. 

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The Product of the Colonial Press 

Humorous and satirical poems were frequently published in 
the broadside form. John Seccombe's Father Abbey' 's Will 
of 1732 was of sufficient interest to find republication in 
the same year in England in the Gentleman's Magazine 
and the London Magazine. That the college was even then 
not regarded as sacrosanct is evident from A Satyrical De- 
scription of Commencement Calculated to the Meridian of 
Cambridge in New-England ', a piece that seems to have been 
printed in 1718 and reprinted in 1740. Battle, murder, sud- 
den death, moral improvement, and the ridiculous provided 
the motives for most of the ballad literature of the period, 
and despite its themes it is an interesting literature, sounder, 
more sincere, and closer to life than the polite lyrics which 
began to supplant it, in the esteem of the educated classes, 
certainly, as the eighteenth century slowly became elegant 
and romantic. 

The Book of Tunes 

The book of tunes for church singing, particularly those 
for use in the New England churches, is a category which as- 
sumes importance among the customary products of the colo- 
nial press. As early as 1698 a book was printed in Boston in 
which appeared a few pages of woodcut music. This was the 
ninth edition of the Bay Psalm Book, printed by B. Green 
and J. Allen. But in this book the pages of music are inci- 
dental to the text. In the sort of volume that we have more 
particularly in mind the printed text occupies the minimum 
of space and the book is given over as a whole to the music 
of psalm tunes and hymn tunes printed from engraved cop- 
per plates. The whole subject has been treated in impeccable 
fashion by Frank J. Metcalf in his American Writers and 

I 247 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Compilers of Sacred Music. The earliest American music 
book of the kind we are describing was probably John Tuf ts's 
Plain and Easy Introduction to the Art of Singing. The date 
of publication of this pioneer work, of which no copy is now 
known, and of which the exact title is not recorded, is given 
uncertainly as either 1714 or 1721. With its tunes expressed 
in an arbitrary notation invented by its author, the Tufts book 
failed of general approval. Even the accident of being first on 
the ground won its author little advantage, for there came 
from the press of James Franklin, in 1721, Thomas Walter's 
Grounds and Rules of Music k Explained. The influence and 
example of this superior work effectually established the type 
of book of which this section treats. Mr. Walter's book was 
oblong in shape and its tunes were engraved upon copper 
with the conventional diamond shaped notes of the period. 
Its final edition, after more than a generation of popularity, 
was in 1 764. 

One may not go further into this subject except to mention 
the names of a few compilers whose works went through 
many editions and long years of popularity. Of these Daniel 
Bayley, organist of Newburyport, was perhaps the best 
known. James Lyon, originally of New Jersey, published his 
Urania in Philadelphia in 1761, and thus first brought into 
the field a collection containing original compositions by an 
American author. This work, engraved by Henry Dawkins, 
with a title-page decorated in the style known as "Chippen- 
dale," is a far handsomer product than the normal music 
book with its crowded staves and general appearance of crab- 
bedness. The generously broad pages of the Urania, measur- 
ing 4^2 x ofA inches allow a long staff with well-spaced notes 
and beneath them the words engraved in a firm and well- 
conceived italic. Its style should have influenced the general 

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The Product of the Colonial Press 

form of this product, but for some reason most of the makers 
of music books continued to be satisfied with rather ugly, 
crowded pages, primitive as to lettering and notation. Wil- 
liam Billings, with his elaboration of the mode of psalm sing- 
ing; Andrew Law, with an entirely new musical notation in 
certain of his books; and Daniel Read are a few of those 
whose books in this category had importance in the life of 
the country of their publication. Some of the chief engravers 
of the century were employed in the making of the plates 
from which the many editions of these works were printed 
and in the embellishment of their title-pages. Paul Revere, 
for example, engraved the music and the frontispiece of Bil- 
ling's New-England Psalm-Singer, of Boston, 1770. 

The publication of secular music in the colonies has noth- 
ing like so long a history as the music books intended for 
church use, but beginning about the year 1 780 the publisher 
of sheet music, instrumental and vocal, appeared in the land 
and began to reissue for American use the popular and clas- 
sical productions of the old world. One of the earliest strictly 
native secular poems to appear in print with musical nota- 
tion was The Liberty Song, composed by Francis Hopkinson 
in 1768. According to the advertisement in the Boston Chron- 
icle for August 29, 1768, this stirring piece seems to have been 
printed with music for the first time by Mein & Fleeming of 
Boston, but no copy of that broadside is known to exist today. 
In BickerstafFs Almanack for 1769, however, this same firm 
published the song set to the old tune "Hearts of Oak." The 
study of the musical activities of the colonists is only begin- 
ning to be undertaken. Books of instruction, such as An Ab- 
stract of Geminiani's Art of playing on the Violin, Boston, 
1 769, the church books, the secular sheet music, the innumer- 
able advertisements of music masters — all form sources for 

[ 249 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

a colonial American chapter in the history of this perennial 
interest of man. 

The Advertising Handbill 

A source of income for the printer to be mentiond last, not 
because of least importance, however, was the separately 
printed advertisement. Though of early origin, the practice 
of newspaper advertising by merchants and others came very 
slowly to the position it now occupies in our daily economy. 
The examples of the advertising handbill and poster that 
have been recovered — and these are a very small proportion 
of the whole number printed — show how dependent was the 
advertiser of the day upon a broadside that could be distrib- 
uted from door to door, from farm to farm, or posted at the 
court-houses of the various counties. Government notices and 
proclamations, notices of militia assemblies, the arrival of a 
cargo of goods to be sold by a merchant, sharp personal con- 
troversies, political differences, the description of a runaway 
slave, apprentice, or indentured servant — all the linen of the 
pioneer community, clean or dirty, was exposed to the public 
gaze by this method of display, and all to the profit of the 

The subject of staple products of the colonial press can 
only be touched upon lightly in a general work. Doubtless, 
many types have been omitted in this survey of the field, but 
some day it will have a historian who will connect the things 
that people of the earlier day read with their daily habits 
of living, and in doing this throw new light on the making 
of national characteristics. The types spoken of here merely 
serve to show the part played by the printer in a country 

[ 250 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

where the degree of actual literacy was high, but where men 
perforce were compelled to supplement their native lore of 
wood and field by the general information of the compend. 
These books of utilitarian value were bought and used by 
people of every rank, and their educational value in matters 
of daily living was of a high order. 

The Mathers, the First Colonial 
Men of Letters 

In turning from the discussion of the staple products of the 
colonial press to its more distinctly literary publications, one's 
thoughts fix themselves at once upon the earliest group of 
American men of letters, the Mathers of New England. Of 
the 650 titles written by fourteen members of that singularly 
vigorous family, 610 came from various American presses. 
The first book with which a Mather was concerned was also 
the first book to be printed in the colonies. The Bay Psalm 
Book of Cambridge, 1640, was edited by Richard Mather 
with an introduction from his hand that must be ranked as 
the earliest literary production of the colonial press. Though 
the urgent motive of their writing was religion in its Congre- 
gational aspect, their books and pamphlets touched the life 
of New England at many other points. Cotton Mather, in 
particular, was a man of wide interests in history, biography, 
and science, and if he was led into the intellectual error of the 
witchcraft delusion, it must not be forgotten that he fought 
for and succeeded in establishing in this country the practice 
of inoculation for small-pox, the most dreadful scourge of the 
time. The works of popular science that came from the pens 
of Increase and Cotton were important in a day when scien- 

[ 251 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

tific writings were few and science itself was just emerging 
from its age-long conjunction with magic. The American 
press had no more frequent patrons than the Mathers, and 
one must believe that, on the whole, the association was prof- 
itable to the people of New England, as it must surely have 
been profitable, though in a different sense, to this family of 
sound and conservative writing men. 8 

Political Writings 

The commentary which composes this chapter is not planned 
on a scale of sufficient breadth to permit more than a brief 
reference to the well-conceived and effective political writ- 
ings which issued from the colonial press in ever larger num- 
bers throughout the period. It was this writing, rather than 
their essays and poems, which formed the most distinctive 
contribution to letters of the men of the place and time. 

The willingness with which the press supported the writers 
on public matters is indication of the deep political concern 
of the people as a whole. It may be that the New England of 
the seventeenth century must be regarded as the exception to 
this generalization, for in that place and time the need for 
establishing a new church order held complete possession of 
the minds of those who were expressing the needs of their 
communities in print. But even in that section, once the Cam- 
bridge Platform and the Saybrook Platform had been estab- 
lished, and the Half- Way Covenant and related questions 
had been fought over and left to individual belief, once the 
"New England Way" had hardened into a working system, 
questions of politics began to occupy the most vigorous writ- 
ers of the community. The Indian Wars of the last quarter of 
the century, the struggle for the maintenance intact of the 

[ 252 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

Massachusetts charter, the local implications of the Protes- 
tant Revolution turned some of the best men of the section 
to the consideration of local and general political questions. 
It was in that period, too, that the older generation of colo- 
nists who, like James I, had ruled according to the common 
weal but not necessarily according to the common will, final- 
ly died out, unable to transmit their power, which had been 
the growth of a peculiar set of circumstances, to sons who 
were either tinctured with the new thought of the time or 
were ineffective in the face of the increasing liberalism of a 
community then receiving in great number emigrants who 
had little in common with the fathers of the country save 
their race. 

In Pennsylvania questions of politics, local rather than 
general, occupied writers and press from a very early period. 
We have seen that it was the support of the Keithian schism 
by the printer, William Bradford, which in 1693 resulted in 
his departure from Pennsylvania and the consequent estab- 
lishment of printing in New York, where, soon enough, prob- 
lems of local politics began to occupy the writers who de- 
pended upon his press. In Maryland, the overthrow of the 
Catholic Proprietary in the local Protestant Revolution of 
1689 produced two significant political documents from the 
press of St. Mary's City. But it was in the eighteenth century 
that the great public questions of national interest drew from 
the press a series of writings of force and distinction. In Vir- 
ginia and Maryland economic problems in connection with 
the tobacco trade, in Maryland and Pennsylvania the rela- 
tion between people and proprietary and the question of the 
right of the colonists to the benefit of the English statutes 
were matters of living import with which, in the first half of 
the century, the presses of Williamsburg, Annapolis, and 

[ 253 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Philadelphia concerned themselves. In Pennsylvania, also, 
the Quaker ideal of non-resistance had to be modified if that 
Province was to be made safe against the ambitions of the 
French and the inroads of their Indian allies. In New York 
feuds between rival factions, representing, roughly, conserv- 
ative and liberal ideas, ran a long and turbulent course, and 
there, too, the problems of trade with the Indians, protection 
against their incursions, and the importance of the city in the 
French strategy held the interest of the outstanding men of 
letters and the political theorists. In New England economic 
problems led to the local publication of a series of "currency 
tracts" of the first importance in the life of that section. Na- 
tional interests, such as the formation of a union of the col- 
onies, brought into being the Albany Congress of 1754 and a 
pamphlet literature on that engrossing constitutional project. 
In later years the question of the constitutionality of the 
Stamp Act led to the writing and printing in the colonies of a 
series of pamphlets which strongly influenced English thought 
on that subject. Moses Coit Tyler's Literary History of the 
American Revolution and Randolph G. Adams's Political 
Ideas of the American Revolution are works that take into 
hand for analysis and interpretation the fermentation of 
ideas and projects which was going on throughout the pre- 
Revolutionary period. The importance of the relations be- 
tween the Indian nations and the colonists was recognized 
everywhere in the country. The presses from Boston to Wil- 
liamsburg gave in the period 1690 to 1776 about fifty of 
those printed documents known today as "Indian Treaties." 
These minutes of conferences are not only records of impor- 
tant agreements and decisions essential to the modern his- 
torian, but, because they were cast in a form determined by 
the immemorial practice of the Indians themselves, they 

[ 254 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

formed a new type in written literature. Franklin was fore- 
most in his recognition of the importance and literary value 
of the Indian Treaties. He printed the notable Treaty Held 
at the Town of Lancaster in 1744 for wide distribution 
throughout the colonies, and even went so far as to print 200 
additional copies for sale in England. 

The eighteenth-century American found himself living in 
a period in which vigorous new political ideas, and old ideas 
reexamined, were seething in men's minds throughout the 
western world. His own contribution to the new intellectual 
era was an alert, thoughtful, and well-expressed excursion 
into the field of facts and ideas, a group of writings of suffi- 
cient weight to serve as his passport into the society of culti- 
vated nations. 

The Writing of History in the Colonies 

If one is of the school which believes that politics is present 
history and history is past politics (and all of us give some 
degree of adherence to that formula) one observes with inter- 
est the extent to which the formal recording of history ran 
parallel to the current expression of opinion on political mat- 
ters. The writing of history seems, indeed, to have been a 
spontaneous form of expression for American men of letters 
from the earliest days. It seems almost as if they visualized 
themselves as actors in a great social experiment of which 
every stage and event should be kept in memory. It should be 
said, at this point, that by the "writing of history" I mean 
really the "writing of histories," of self-conscious studies 
which record and interpret events in the past experience of 
the people for the information of posterity. We recognize, 
too, the existence of another motive in the earliest days which 

[ 255 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

produced the same result, that is, the desire to explain and in- 
terpret contemporary events to contemporary men, especially 
to officials and men of influence in England. A Declaration 
of Former Passages and Proceedings betwixt the English and 
the Narrowgansets, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1645, is a 
statement which records and interprets a series of events in 
the hope of justifying to the English at home action taken by 
the community, which, without such explanation, might well 
have been misunderstood. Other apologies of this sort, using 
the stronger meaning of the word, came in the early days from 
the press, but soon there were being compiled "histories" of 
the sort we are chiefly concerned with, writings intended as 
records for the information of present and future men. Mor- 
tons's New-England s Memoriall, of Cambridge, 1669; Hub- 
bard's Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians, Boston, 
1677; Increase Mather's Brief History of the Warr With 
the Indians, Boston, 1676, are notable products of the Mas- 
sachusetts press, not mere tracts or pamphlets but formal rec- 
ords of past events against which the activities of the present 
might be projected and examined. From the Boston press 
came, in 1736, Thomas Prince's Chronological History of 
New-England; from the Williamsburg establishment of Wil- 
liam Parks there was issued in 1747 the most elaborate pro- 
duction of this kind in the first half of the century, Stith's 
History of Virginia. In 1765, the press of James Parker was 
moved from Woodbridge, New Jersey, to Burlington for the 
purpose of printing Samuel Smith's History of New-Jersey. 
From the New York press came also in 1727 Colden's His- 
tory of the Five Indian Nations. Returning to Boston, we find 
coming from the press of Rogers and Fowle in 1747 and 1751 
the most conspicuous attempt until then made at a general 
history of the colonies, a work written upon a broad design 

[ 256 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

by a man who saw the English colonies as something other 
than a congeries of separate, self-contained states. This book 
was Dr. William Douglass's Summary, Historical and Politi- 
cal, of the first Planting, progressive Improvements, and pres- 
ent State of the British Settlements in North- A merica, a book 
to which, it sometimes seems, due honor has not yet been paid. 
And so the story might go on at greater length. In all this ef- 
fort we find an implicit expression of the belief these writers 
held in the importance of the events they were recording, a 
belief recognized by them of a great destiny awaiting the 
land of their habitation. The printers gave aid and comfort 
to these servants of the land by cooperation in the publica- 
tion of their dignified and scholarly historical writings. 

The Literary Product 

To the present-day observer of its activities, the most inter- 
esting feature of the colonial American press is its portrayal 
of the daily life of the pioneer communities by means of the 
productions that have been specified. Hardly less in the de- 
gree and quality of interest is the indication the literary pub- 
lications give of the formation and growth of ideas in Eng- 
lish America. Primarily utilitarian, the American colonial 
press came slowly to the status of a spiritual force in the life 
of the people it served. It is a commonplace to point out the 
predominant religious concern of the New England press as 
opposed to the more general interests of the press in the mid- 
dle and southern colonies. Yet such a generalization, even if 
it cannot be defended at every point, serves to express an un- 
derlying truth. The first book printed in English America 
was the Bay Psalm Book, of Cambridge, 1640, an entirely 
new version of a great body of religious verse. The first origi- 

[ 257 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

nal poem of the country of any size was Michael Wiggles- 
worth's Day of Doom, harsh theology expressed in vehement 
verse, printed in Cambridge in 1662. Benjamin Tompson's 
New England s Crisis, a group of poems on events of the 
Indian wars, brought out by John Foster, of Boston, in 1676, 
has been called "the first collection of American poems to be 
printed in what is now the United States." Two years later, 
in 1678, the same printer issued Anne Bradstreet's Several 
Poems, the first American edition of her Tenth Muse lately 
sprung up in America, London, 1650. Foster's edition of 
Mrs. Bradstreet's poems marked, in this country, the entrance 
of women into the field of letters. The poems of Tompson 
and Mrs. Bradstreet, serious though they might be, were suf- 
ficiently different from Wiggles worth's grim versifying to 
convince us that even then New England, so generally and 
so carelessly misinterpreted in our generation of revolt against 
the Puritan discipline, was not devoid of the grave sanity of 
her later periods. 

When we turn to consider the things that were being print- 
ed in the colonies to the south, an immediate difference in in- 
tention is perceived even when a likeness in kind prevails. 
The people of Church of England Virginia, Church of Eng- 
land and Roman Catholic Maryland, colonies of large land- 
holders, of scattered towns, of social extremes, carried their 
learning as an ornament, or as a measure of utility, rather 
than a means of grace. The first poetical work done in Eng- 
lish America was the translation of Books VI-XV of Ovid's 
Metamorphoses made by George Sandys in Jamestown, Vir- 
ginia, after his arrival there in 1621, and printed in Lon- 
don in his complete edition of that work in 1626. When 
presses began to operate in the South, we observe in their out- 
put, in books and in newspapers, a reflection of the polite and 

[ 258 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

learned world of London. Translations from the classics, 
Lovelacian lyrics, elegant trifles in verse and prose provide 
an element in the product of these presses that must be stud- 
ied by the social historian. The Sotzveed Factor, by Ebenezer 
Cooke, was probably the most original poem to come from an 
American press of the times. This vigorous satirical piece was 
first published in London in 1708, probably republished in 
Annapolis about the year 1728, and, under the general title, 
The Maryland Muse, again printed in Annapolis in 1731, 
this time in company with The History of Colonel Nathaniel 
Bacon' s Rebellion in Virginia, Done into Hudibrastick Verse. 
Its second publication in America was preceded by that of its 
continuation, the Sotweed Redivivus, in Annapolis in 1730. 
The translation by Richard Lewis of Holdsworth's Latin 
satire on the Welsh, the Muscipula, printed in both languages 
in Annapolis in 1728; John Markland's ode on printing, 
Typographia, of Williamsburg, 1730; Poems on Several Oc- 
casions by "a Gentleman of Virginia," Williamsburg, 1736; 
the translation of Cato Major, printed by Franklin in Phila- 
delphia in 1744, are locally printed and locally written pieces 
that indicate the tastes and feelings of the men of learning of 
these communities. The student of American ideas finds in 
these and similar issues of the colonial press fascinating ma- 
terial for the comprehension of spiritual tendencies. 9 

A Note on the German Press 

It happens that more than once in these pages mention has 
been made of Der Blutige Schau-Platz, the book of the Men- 
nonite martyrs translated from the Dutch of Tieleman van 
Braght and printed at the Ephrata Monastery in 1748 on a 
partnership agreement, at the behest of the Pennsylvania 

[ 259 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Mennonites. The resulting volume of 756 leaves was the larg- 
est book produced in the colonies before the Revolution ; that 
it may also be judged the ugliest does not take away merit 
from the pious souls who conceived, or from the pious but 
unhappy men who executed, the great project. The story of 
its printing takes us into another world than that of the bus- 
tling, commercial seaport towns of the colonies, to a quiet 
village of the interior where, in a Seventh Day Baptist Mon- 
astery, were reproduced the conditions of the communal re- 
ligious life of another age and continent. The naive authors of 
the Chronicon Ephratense, Brothers Lamech and Agrippa, 
tell of the printing of the great work under the oversight of 
their rigorous taskmaster, the Superintendent of the Commu- 
nity. The story comes into a history of the colonial press, for, 
huge and unlovely though it may be, the Mennonite Martyr 
Book was in some particulars its most remarkable product. 
Certainly there remains no record of the actual printing of an 
American book so curiously interesting. 

"After the building of the mill was completed," the chron- 
iclers wrote, "the printing of the Book of Martyrs was taken 
in hand, to which important work fifteen Brethren were de- 
tailed, nine of whom had their work assigned in the printing 
department, namely, one corrector, who was at the same time 
the translator, four compositors and four pressmen ; the rest 
had their work in the paper-mill. Three years were spent on 
this book, though not continuously, for there was often a 
want of paper. And because at that time, there was little 
other business in the Settlement, the household of the Breth- 
ren got deeply into debt, which, however, was soon liquidated 
by the heavy sales of the book. The book was printed in large 
folio form, contained sixteen reams [sic, for quires] of paper, 
and the edition consisted of 1300 copies. At a council with the 

[ 260 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

Mennonites, the price of one copy was fixed at twenty shil- 
lings, (about £l ), which ought to be proof, that other causes 
than eagerness for gain led to the printing of the same. 

"That this Book of Martyrs was the cause of many trials 
among the Solitary, and contributed not a little to their spir- 
itual martyrdom, is still in fresh remembrance. The Superin- 
tendent, who had started the work, had other reasons than 
gain for it. The welfare of those entrusted to him lay near his 
heart, and he therefore allowed no opportunity to pass which 
might contribute anything to it. Those three years, during 
which said book was in press, proved an excellent prepara- 
tion for spiritual martyrdom, although during that time six 
failed and joined the world again. When this is taken into 
consideration, as also the low price, and how far those who 
worked at it were removed from self-interest, the biographies 
of the holy martyrs, which the book contains, cannot fail to 
be a source of edification to all who read them. Moderation 
and vigilance were observed during this task as strictly as 
ever in the convent; but everything was in such confusion, 
that in spite of all care, each had to submit to discipline at 
least once a day. God be praised that brotherly love did not 
suffer from it! The Superintendent visited this school of 
correction once every day, in order to preserve the balance 
among the Brethren." 

Der Blutige Schau-Platz is perhaps the only colonial book 
of which the laborious printing was used as a spiritual cor- 
rective, "so that no one might ever feel at home again in this 
life, and so forget the consolation from above," as the Chroni- 
con puts it with something of irony under an innocent face. 

The German press in Pennsylvania, indeed, with its Sow- 
ers and their large establishment, its briiderschaft of the 
Ephrata Monastery, its Armbruester, its Steiner, and a score 

[ 261 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

more of intelligent, diligent printers, offers a phenomenon 
for reflection and study. The Pennsylvania Germans were 
a folk set down in a strange land in the midst of an alien 
race; it is no wonder that they sang longingly of Zion and 
turned their vision inward. While the New England minis- 
ters were preaching and writing their rigid Calvinism or their 
broad and cool Unitarianism, and the Church of England 
clergy were upholding their tradition of the via media with 
its sane and healthy way of spiritual living, the German sec- 
tarians were looking upon the face of God with a mystical 
rapture that found its way inevitably into the books that 
came from their presses, whether from Moravian, Dunker, 
Mennonite, Seventh Day Baptist, or German Pietist sources. 
The first German books of the colonies came from the press 
of Andrew Bradford of Philadelphia, probably as early as 

1728, though no imprints of that year have been found. In 

1729, however, Bradford's services as printer were demanded 
at least twice by the German sectarians of Pennsylvania. 
Some years after the founding of the Ephrata Monastery a 
press was established in the cloister, and one of its first known 
issues, in 1745, was Beissel's Urstandliche und Erfahrungs- 
volle Hohe Zeugniisze, which is described as a work of mysti- 
cal theology full of abstruse oddities. It had appeared orig- 
inally under the title Zionitischen Stiff ts, or rather, had been 
about to appear with a preface by Israel Eckerlin when Beis- 
sel quarrelled with his editor, expelled him from the brother- 
hood, burnt the preliminary sheets of the book, and issued it 
with a new title and preface. Lovers of their Lord, these en- 
thusiasts were also good haters of their fellow men when 
events gave rise to the harsher emotions. Succeeding works of 
a similar character form a distinct type in the product of the 
colonial press, but one turns with relief from their metaphys- 

[ 262 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

ical and mouth-filling titles to the simple and imaginative 
titles of German works of another type that came in abun- 
dance from the presses of this race of choral singers. The 
Giildene Aepffel in Silbern Schalen was issued from the 
Ephrata press in 1745, only to be followed two years later 
by Das Ges'dng der einsamen und verlassenen Turtel-Taube. 
In the foreword of this book, the "Vorrede von der Singar- 
beit," Beissel has set forth a treatise on harmony that is said 
to merit attention from the historian of music. We have also, 
as memorials of the life of this interesting folk, the Geist- 
liches Blumen-Gdrtlein InnigerSeelen, of German town, 1 769, 
and other works in which the image of the Christian church 
as a lonely turtledove, or of the spiritual life as a golden 
apple or a little sacred garden is presented earnestly and 
without self-consciousness. The same spirit that led in an- 
cient days to a mystical interpretation of the dark maiden in 
the Song of Solomon as the spiritual bride of Christ animated 
the composers of the German hymns. "The vocabulary of 
sensual love," Seidensticker writes, is used in the hymn books 
"to symbolize religious ecstasy." There was something in 
these German peasants, with their extravagance of feeling, 
their fierce controversies, their mysticism, and their devotion 
to choral singing, that sets them apart even in so varied a 
scene as the Pennsylvania of the mid-eighteenth century. 10 

A Concluding Reflection 

The purpose of the foregoing pages on the product of the 
colonial press is to provide a picture of that ever-expanding 
stream of publication rather than a review or summary of it. 
It is intended to give the student of typographical history a 
graphic conception of a craft doggedly at work, serving as 

[ 263 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

best it might the material needs, ideas, and emotions of the 
communities in which it was seated, expressing their aspira- 
tions, and taking part in the development of their political 
and social institutions. Such a chapter as this is at once a part 
of the history of printing and the end and goal of its study. 

[ 264 ] 


The Product of the Colonial Press 
Part II. External Characteristics 

IN examining the American book of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, one finds little in its appearance or 
physical characteristics to distinguish it from the normal 
English book of the same period. There is no question, of 
course, that the London printer who set about the production 
of a fine book possessed, to begin with, a degree of experience 
in bookmaking and an acquaintance with notable specimens 
of the craft not often part of the equipment of the pioneer 
American printer. The Londoner had also the advantage of 
proximity to the paper-mills and type foundries of Holland 
and to the engravers of that country and of his own. His 
luxury books, in consequence, were of considerably greater 
dignity and beauty than anything the colonies could or did 
produce. There is nothing of colonial origin comparable in 
typographical appearance and decoration to such an English 
work as the Oxford, 1702-1704, edition of Clarendon's His- 
tory of the Rebellion ; or, in variety of types employed and in 
the skill of their composition, to the Opera of John Selden 
in the edition of London, 1726, in which was used for the 
first time the roman letter of William Caslon ; or, in the field 
of book illustration, to Catesby's Natural History of Caro- 
lina, London, 1731-1743, with its superbly engraved and 
colored plates of birds, reptiles, and plants. Bookmaking of 
this sort was a thing apart; the American printer had neither 
the experience, the resources, nor the incentive in the form of 
market demand to attempt its emulation in his own produc- 
tions. Such work was not expected of him, and the fact that 

[ 265 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

he did not produce it requires neither apology nor extenua- 
tion. But it is doubtful whether the normal book — the quarto 
or octavo book of verses, the sermon, or the political tract — 
found in the London shop was greatly superior to the book of 
a similar character that came from the well-established shops 
of the larger American towns. In neither place was work of 
this sort notable from the esthetic standpoint; the printer re- 
garded it as ephemeral material and paid it the minimum of 
respect. It is we of the later centuries who have discovered 
the social importance of its content and given high place to 
the shoddy little volumes in which, too often, it is embodied. 
But whether we are thinking of the English book or the 
American, there are two considerations which must be taken 
into account. One of these is the existence of many printers 
who were exceptions to the generalization just made, men 
who had the good craftsman's pride in doing the common 
thing well ; the other, and the more difficult to keep in mind, 
is that, nearly always, we see these books in what, if per- 
mitted, we may describe as the "sere, the yellow leaf," see 
them limp and worn through use, damp stained and with 
faded ink, two or three centuries after their original appear- 
ance, when the paper was white and crisp, and when a suc- 
cession of readers with dirty thumbs had not mishandled 
them, nor a succession of binders with plough and perversity 
ruined the proportions of their pages by the repeated crop- 
pings of their edges. When by good fortune one finds an early 
American book crisp and uncut, one realizes that even the 
less ambitious of them were not altogether to be despised. 

[ 266 J 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

Characteristics Resulting from 
Paper Economy 

In addition to a certain air of naivete, an appearance about 
them of having been achieved experimentally rather than 
turned out as a standardized product, there is one character- 
istic that strikes the observer in examining even the better 
American book. I was about to say the better American book 
in comparison with the better English book, but the truth is 
that the fault, a certain crabbedness in composition, was of 
the century rather than of the place, though it is likely that 
it is more frequently found in the American book than in that 
which proceeded from an English shop. Often a truly fine 
title-page — free, well-balanced, stately — introduces the ob- 
server to pages of text in which the type employed is too 
small for the area covered by the letterpress. The explanation 
of the anomaly lies in the need of the colonial printer to con- 
serve his paper supply ; he must get upon each sheet as much 
matter at it would hold, and often that meant he must set 
his matter in an inappropriately small letter. Some of the 
great collections of laws, and it was in the making of these 
'and other official productions that the colonial printer tried 
hardest for perfection, fail on this account to live up to the 
promise of their title-pages. An example of what I have in 
mind is found in that strikingly handsome book, Bacon's 
Laws of Maryland, a folio with a leaf measurement in its 
large paper edition of i63^ x lo}^ inches and a letterpress 
measurement of 11/^ x6H inches, exclusive of side notes. 
The pages were composed with exceptional skill in letter of 
pica, or twelve point, size. Pica is a respectable size for a 
book of these dimensions, but it is that and no more. The 

[ 267 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Bacon pages with their well-proportioned margins, their com- 
pact, even setting, their good inking and firm impression are 
pleasing indeed, but if they had been set in English, or four- 
teen point, the terms one would inevitably choose for their 
description are such grander adjectives as "noble" or "ma- 
jestic." But esthetic considerations must not become the sole 
basis of criticism, nor is it wise to attribute every action of 
mankind to the economic motive. Jonas Green undoubtedly 
realized that his book would have been handsomer in a larger 
type, but he realized also that the lawyers, judges, and as- 
semblymen who were to use the collection would have been 
continually vexed by a book in two volumes or by a single 
volume too heavy for easy handling. After all the book was 
to be a work of daily utility, and the problem was to direct 
everything about its production to that end. He succeeded in 
making a convenient and handsome volume despite his use of 
pica on a page where English would have been better. 

Characteristics Resulting from Type Economy. 
Half-sheet Printing and Folios in Twos 

Another characteristic of the colonial book, not a question 
this time of esthetic consideration, speaks loudly, also, of the 
limitations of the printer's equipment and of his need for 
the exercise of resourcefulness in his craft. Again we find that 
the characteristic in question, the prevalence of half-sheet 
printing and of printing folios in twos, is not unique in the 
American shops but only more general there than in England. 
These are terms which the reader who has not made printing 
practices a special study fails at first to understand, but as 
the motive for the adoption of the practices they represent 

[ 268 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

was an important element in the economy of the colonial 
printing office, it is worth while to explain them in this place. 
I quote, therefore, certain sentences I wrote some years ago 
in another connection : 

"Printing in half sheets . . . seriously puzzles anyone who 
has not previously encountered the method or learned the 
meaning of the term. Usually when he hears the expression 
for the first time, he concludes that the printer of a book so 
described had been forced to work with a press smaller than 
normal or with paper too large for the common machine and 
therefore had cut down his sheets before printing. Neither 
size of press nor size of paper, however, affects the question 
in any degree. If the puzzled bookman once gets it clearly in 
mind that the sheets were not cut in halves until after the 
completion of their printing, the remaining features of the 
process will offer him no special difficulties. 

"A printer who had a book in octavo to be produced in a 
busy season, when other jobs were making demands upon his 
small fonts of type, might decide that he could keep the work 
upon the book in a satisfactory state of progress by printing 
it in half sheets. He proceeded as ordinarily with a whole 
sheet in mind, and in hand, but instead of composing sixteen 
consecutive pages, imposing them in two forms, and printing 
one form upon each side of the sheet, he set only eight consec- 
utive pages, imposed them in one form, printed them upon 
one side of the sheet, and then turning the sheet over end for 
end, printed them upon the other. With this sheet cut in 
halves across its shorter dimension, each of the resulting half 
sheets, folded into four leaves, showed eight pages in se- 
quence. The printer, therefore, was able to build two piles at 
once of these eight-page half sheets with the same labor he 
would have expended upon one pile of whole sheets contain- 

[ 269 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ing sixteen pages. By the adoption of this mode of imposition 
and printing he saved nothing in time or labor, but kept the 
book in work at the usual rate of progress while using only 
half the quantity of type required for the ordinary method." 1 

The practice of printing folios in twos must also have 
arisen from the need for getting the greatest possible use from 
a small supply of type, but R. W. Chapman has pointed out 
that English volumes in folio of the eighteenth century were 
frequently printed in twos and sometimes in type of such a 
large size that a relatively small quantity of it would have 
been needed to print the same work in fours or sixes. 2 It may 
be that, beginning as an economic measure, this procedure be- 
came so much a matter of custom that it was sometimes auto- 
matically adopted without cause. But the original cause for a 
practice that made the subsequent binding of the volume infi- 
nitely more tedious of execution must have been, as will now be 
explained, the impelling one of economy in type employment. 

The well-equipped English or continental office, in mak- 
ing a folio book, was able customarily to set at one time eight 
or twelve folio pages and to impose them in such wise that 
when printed, and the resulting two or three sheets of letter- 
press had been folded and quired within one another, the page 
numbers would run consecutively throughout the quire or 
gathering, thus giving a folio in fours or sixes. But in a small 
establishment with only a few hundred pounds of type to each 
font, the proprietor must exercise ingenuity to prevent tying 
up a font of frequent employment throughout the composi- 
tion, imposition, proving, printing, and distributing of eight 
or more folio pages of letter. To avoid this embarrassment, he 
set at one time four pages only, imposed them to run con- 
secutively in the simplest folio imposition scheme— pages one 
and four comprising the outer form, two and three the inner 

[ 270 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

—printed those pages, distributed the type, stored the sheets, 
and ultimately built up his book by a series of gatherings 
composed of one sheet of two leaves each. That particular 
font of type was thus kept fluid and available for whatever 
additional uses might be demanded of it while his folio vol- 
ume was in progress. The Book of general Lauues and Liber- 
ty es, of Cambridge, 1648, the first body of laws published in 
the United States, was imposed as a folio in fours, but the 
Massachusetts General Laws of 1672, and The Book of the 
Laws of New-Plimouth, of 1672, both of Cambridge, and the 
Acts and Laws of Connecticut, Boston, 1702, were imposed as 
folio in twos in the manner described. Bacon's Laws of Mary- 
land, Annapolis, 1765, was, for the greater part, in fours, 
though its long index of twenty-three signatures was imposed 
in twos. In later years the son of Jonas Green, its printer, set 
in the large folio size of the book of 1765 another body of 
Maryland laws and imposed it in twos. Parks's Collection of 
all the Acts of Assembly, of Virginia, Williamsburg, 1733, 
was imposed as a folio in fours, but his Compleat Collection 
of the Laws of Maryland, Annapolis, 1727, was a folio in 
twos, as also was Lewis Timothy's notable edition of Trott's 
Laws of South Carolina, Charleston, 1736, and Franklin's 
Philadelphia, 1742, edition of A Collection of all the Laws 
of Pennsylvania. The normal book of folio session laws was, 
in brief, in twos, and those notable issues of Franklin's press, 
the folio Indian Treaties, were commonly in twos. In short, 
despite exceptions, the practice of the colonial printer was 
normally to print his folio volumes in twos. Whether it was 
always the need for keeping his type available for other cur- 
rent uses that led him to this procedure, whether it was a 
practice originally based upon this need which became a cus- 
tomary mode through habit after the need had become less 

[ 271 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

impelling, or whether he was forced to it by some exigency 
of his business not clearly understood by us, is difficult to 
determine. Bacon's Laws of Maryland was set from new 
fonts of Caslon imported for the purpose of printing that 
book. It is likely that until the book was finished the new 
type was used for no other purpose, and that, consequently, 
the need for keeping the font available for other work did not 
exist. Some such consideration as this, the certainty, in brief, 
that the font would not be needed for concurrent service on 
other jobs may explain the exceptions here noted to the pre- 
vailing practice in the colonial shops of printing folios in 
twos. But whatever the reasons for the exceptions, it is diffi- 
cult to think of any motive other than that which has been 
given for building a book in twos, doubling, at least, the 
amount of sewing required in its binding, and producing in 
the end a less durable binding because the threads must be 
sewn through the folds of single sheets rather than through 
the combined folds of two or three sheets. 

It may be that further apology should be made for this 
excursion into a somewhat technical aspect of bookmaking, 
but, as already said, the procedures of which we have spoken 
had their origin in economic factors in the life of the colonial 
printer, and, were, therefore, conditions important for the stu- 
dent of his life and work to know about and understand. 

Formats and Sizes 

The formats of the books issued by the American printer 
of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were those that 
prevailed in the English and continental bookmaking of the 
period. The folio and quarto were the chief formats of the 
first century of printing history, but by the middle of the six- 

[ 272 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

teenth century the quarto had acquired the position of domi- 
nance it retained for another hundred and fifty years. 3 When 
the American press was established, therefore, the quarto, or 
what we call the "small quarto," format was its chief produc- 
tion. The small folio was used for certain purposes, but the 
octavo was rarely employed. The colonial printers saw, there- 
fore, and had part in, the universal change whereby in the 
eighteenth century the octavo came into its own as the chief 
format of the printed book, a format convenient for the 
reader and economical for the printer. 

The seventeenth-century printer in America, as every- 
where, found available to him a more limited range in paper 
sizes than was the fortune of his successors of the later period. 
In a list of papers offered for sale in England in 1674, the 
sizes run only from pot, that is, from sheets measuring 7^ x 
li/^ inches, to super royal, measuring 13^2 x 18H inches. 4 
Though the names in this series are the same as those em- 
ployed today — pot, foolscap, crown, demy, royal, and super 
royal— a sheet of any one of these was considerably smaller 
than a sheet of the same name in its modern employment. The 
largest demy sheet, for example, measured io34 x 15/^, while 
the English sheet of the same name today measures 17/^ x 
22/^ inches. The consequence to the printer of the narrow 
range of sizes generally available and the relatively small 
dimensions of the sheets was that his folio, quarto, and oc- 
tavo were what we call today small folio, small quarto, and 
small octavo. His octavo, indeed, was so small as to be, ex- 
cept for certain restricted uses, an unpopular size, but in the 
back of his mind always was the fact that by employing the 
octavo format with its sixteen pages to a sheet he could set 
more matter to a sheet than in the larger formats and conse- 
quently effect an economy in paper. His insistent demand for 

[ 273 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

larger sheets which would make larger octavos ultimately 
forced the paper-mills to supply him with sheets of the re- 
quired size, and slowly there was evolved the larger octavo 
format which has become the normal book of our time. 

It must not be understood that in all this period larger 
sheets than those named were unobtainable from the paper 
makers. Many folios of the incunabula period were on sheets 
larger than any of those here mentioned, and probably at any 
time, by insistence and expenditure, a printer with a special 
job on hand could procure a sheet of larger size than those 
kept in stock by the dealers. But it seems to be true that the 
list of 1674 represents the sizes generally available to the 
printer at that time. From an act of Queen Anne of 17 1 1, we 
learn that by the early years of the new century the situation 
had already changed, that there were then available at least 
two larger sizes, imperial and atlas, not mentioned in the 
merchants' list of 1674. 5 In a French royal arret of 1741, fix- 
ing the sizes and weights of paper, a much greater variety of 
sizes was shown than is found in the London list of 1674, 
and, what is more to the point we are considering, a much 
greater increase in the size dimensions of sheets described by 
the same name in the two schedules. 6 This official list names 
eleven sizes larger than the largest size mentioned in the list 
of 1674 and five sizes smaller than the pot paper with which 
the earlier inventory concludes. In the list of 1674, super 
royal measured \^A x 18M inches; in the schedule of 1741 
a paper of that name measured approximately ioVa x 27% 
inches. One pot paper in 1674 measured 8 x 12^2 inches; in 
1741, the pot sheet mentioned showed dimensions of 12H x 
15H inches. Among the larger sizes of 1741 was "elephant," 
measuring 1^/2 x 32 inches. In the Account Books of Frank- 
lin, paper of elephant size is several times mentioned about 

[ 274 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

the year 1743. In earlier years the sizes with which Franklin 
was concerned were chiefly foolscap, pro patria, royal, and 
demy. 7 This and other evidence to be adduced shows that be- 
fore the middle of the century the American printer was tak- 
ing advantage of the larger sizes to be obtained from the paper 
makers of the new era. 

If we examine a few American books of the period we shall 
see this increase in paper sizes going on and observe its conse- 
quences, see the folio becoming larger while the uneconomical 
quarto almost disappears from use, and the octavo becomes 
the chief format in the printed product of the country. 

The book of permanent reference value, which in the col- 
onies meant almost entirely the book of laws or other govern- 
ment business, appeared generally in folio, or, as already ex- 
plained, in small folio. The general Laws And Liberties of 
the Massachusets Colony, of 1672, showed a leaf measure- 
ment of llVk x 7M inches. The leaf of the Collection of the 
Acts of Virginia of 1733 measured 13 x 8/4 inches ; the Laws 
of South Carolina of 1736, 13% x 8^8 inches; the "big Peter 
Miller," as an edition of Pennsylvania laws of 1762 was 
known, from the name of its printer, \^Va x gH inches; and, 
finally, the Laws of Maryland of 1765, in the large paper 
edition, i&A x 10M2 inches. A similar increase in size is to be 
observed in several series of assembly votes and proceedings. 
The first of the Indian Treaties in folio, that of New York, 
1698, measured, roughly, 1 1^ x 7^2 inches, while a group of 
Treaties issued by Franklin in 1757, and thereafter, measured 
15/^2 x iO/4 inches. And the case of the newspaper is equally 
to the point: Parks's Maryland Gazette of the 1730's was 
printed on a sheet measuring roughly 12 x 14 inches; God- 
dard's Maryland Journal of 1773 used a sheet of about 16 x 
20 inches. 

[ 275 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

It is obvious that with this change in available paper sizes, 
the octavo format, in which the sheet was folded three times, 
would result in a book of dignified size in which an extensive 
text could be set forth in a reasonably large letter. That 
achievement was not easy in the seventeenth century. The 
quarto leaf of the Eliot Indian Bible of Cambridge measured 
7^2 x 5M inches, representing a sheet of 1 1 l A x 1 5 inches. The 
leaf of an octavo formed from this sheet would measure only 
5 24 x 3M inches, a book in which an extensive text would ne- 
cessitate either the use of small type or the making of a fat, 
dumpy volume. The octavo from the sheet of 16/^ x 21 inch- 
es on which the Laws of Maryland were printed in 1765 
would measure %Va x 5K inches, and at about this time 
octavos or large twelve-mos of that satisfactory size began to 
issue from the American printing houses in such numbers as 
to make the appearance of a shelf of currently printed books 
very different from the picture presented by such a shelf a 
century before, when it would have been made up almost en- 
tirely of small quartos with a handful of small folios and one 
or two volumes in the lesser formats. If we substitute the 
word octavos for small quartos in this last clause, we have 
a description of a shelf of the late eighteenth century. There 
might be on that shelf, however, a number of twelvemos and 
sixteenmos, for the lesser formats were employed increasing- 
ly for almanacs, chapbooks, primers, and moral tales for chil- 
dren. It was the custom of the time to put matter for children 
into small books, often of incredibly poor printing and illus- 
tration. Larger books, larger type, and well-drawn pictures 
for the books of children were conceptions of the humani- 
tarian nineteenth century. 

[ 276 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 
Design and Decoration 

The title-pages of American books of the earlier period 
were, like those of the English printers, likely to have their 
matter enclosed within ruled or flowered borders, with com- 
partments set off by rules for title, author's name, and im- 
print. In some cases the text pages, too, were framed by ruled 
borders, but that extra touch, involving an expenditure of 
time not always justified by the result, was usually neglected 
by the American printer. The decoration employed by the 
seventeenth-century printer was mainly that of typograph- 
ical flowers, those cast ornaments which, singly or in any one 
of a series of numerous possible combinations, gave finish or 
a touch of interest to spaces that otherwise would have been 
left blank, to that part of the title-page, for example, be- 
tween author's name and imprint ; to the head of an opening 
three-quarter page of text; or to the lower half of the con- 
cluding page of a chapter or section. The first press, that of 
Cambridge, possessed also a good store of engraved head and 
tail pieces — designs of an earlier period already taking on 
something of an archaic appearance — which it used effective- 
ly though sometimes with a heavy hand. Several of the ear- 
lier printers possessed one or two ornaments similar to these 
and an alphabet of floriated initials, which, properly used, 
gave finish to their work, and which in our time, if they are 
distinctive in character, frequently give aid to the bibliog- 
rapher in the identification of anonymously issued volumes 
of the New England presses. 

Coincident with the change in size of the normal book 
from quarto to octavo, there came about a general simplifica- 
tion of the design and decoration of the pages, following in 
this respect, somewhat belatedly, the newer English mode. 

[ 277 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

This change was particularly noticeable in the lay-out of the 
title-page. Authors gave up the practice of crowding the page 
by trying to set out upon it an abstract of the text; printers 
left off the ruled borders within which formerly they had 
framed and compressed the too abundant matter. The late 
eighteenth century was the period of a second revival of 
classicism, a period in which men strove in language, in ideas, 
and in the product of the work of their hands for clarity, bal- 
ance, and order. The literary style of the period reflected the 
spirit of the times, and the typographical style sought to ex- 
press the work of writers in a method of display and compo- 
sition that accorded with it. The book of the period gained its 
effect by the arrangement of its matter rather than by its 
decoration. Brief statements, well-spaced and well-balanced, 
gave its title-pages dignity and ease ; leading between lines of 
text and wider spacing between the words let in the light and 
gave a quality of frankness, of ease and serenity, a letterpress 
pleasingly different from the crowded, tortured composition 
which characterized so much of the work of the seventeenth 
century. Decoration was discarded little by little until even 
the floriated initial or the factotum became the mark of a 
printer who was not abreast of the tendency of his time. A 
line or other combination of cast flowers on the title-page or 
at appropriate places throughout the book; a cast capital 
letter as initial, unornamented or framed by a design of type 
ornaments; or a small engraved ornament as tailpiece were 
the utmost allowed in the decoration of the normal volume. 
The rejuvenation in the first half of the century of the 
roman type forms by the superior designing and cutting of 
William Caslon wrought a great change in the appearance of 
the book in England and America, removing from its letter- 
press an appearance of crudity which earlier often character- 

[ 278 ] 





O F 

The College of 
William and Mary, in 

In Lattn and Englifb. 


Printed by William Parks, MjDCCjXxxvi. 

Plate XXIV 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

ized even well-composed pages. When the type of that period 
was a Dutch letter of a good design, the effect was, in truth, 
that of rugged strength rather than crudity, possessing a 
charm that has not palled despite the changes in fashion; 
when it was a letter imitative of the Dutch cutting by one of 
the poorer English foundries, and when, to make the situa- 
tion worse, it was worn and battered type, as it was too often 
in the American shops, the effect was such that even the most 
romantic antiquarian cannot regard the book set in it as any- 
thing but the result of a regrettable economic condition. De- 
spite a certain unctuous perfection they possessed, the Caslon 
letters and those of the imitators of Caslon made a great 
change for the better in the American book of the second half 
of the century. 

The Newspaper and Broadside 

It was in this period of change, also, that the newspaper 
and broadside began to show that the colonial American 
printer was devoting thought to the esthetics of his craft even 
in the production of its commoner product. The broadside 
news sheet, hurriedly issued, rarely attained what we think 
of as typographical beauty, but there exist other and more 
formal products in the category of the broadside — govern- 
ment proclamations, extracts from assembly acts or ordi- 
nances, commercial advertisements, even — which come with- 
out question into the class distinguished by excellence of de- 
sign and execution. The newspaper maintained for a long 
time the small folio size and the quaint and na'ive crudity of 
the English journal of the early eighteenth century, but that 
product of the press began about the middle of the century, 
with larger paper and better types, to take on a quality that 

[ 279 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

gives it importance from typographical consideration as well 
as from the standpoint of social value. The three newspapers 
established and conducted by William Goddard — the Provi- 
dence Gazette, the Pennsylvania Chronicle, the Maryland 
Journal — and Jonas Green's Maryland Gazette are only a 
few of those which gave a special character to this product of 
the eighteenth-century American press. The large sheet of 
these journals, the well-balanced headings, the advertise- 
ments displayed clearly but not "boldly," the general ap- 
pearance in the whole of professional competence forced the 
publishers of the small, crowded sheet of earlier days to re- 
form or to give up competition. 


In considering the work of the printer of the colonial pe- 
riod, we have confined ourselves heretofore to the problems 
of pure typography. This has been a reasonable enough pro- 
cedure, because, after all, the normal printer of the time 
made no effort to produce anything except normal letter- 
press ; the end of his endeavor was to set forms of roman type 
and impress them in black ink on white paper. It was only 
rarely that one of them varied his procedure even by the 
creation of anything so commonplace in other lands as a red 
and black title-page. Such a departure from the normal 
meant, of course, a second printing of the sheet upon which 
the rubrication appeared, and in the course of that second 
printing the taking of innumerable precautions to secure 
exact register. There have been from early days several ways 
of printing in two or more colors, but it is probable that in 
the eighteenth century in America it was done by the labor- 
ious method described by Moxon, which, briefly stated, was 

[ 280 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

to remove from the form all words which were to show ulti- 
mately in red, filling in their spaces with quadrats lower than 
the face of the type. The form was then inked in black and 
when the required number of sheets had been printed the 
quads were removed and the words to be printed in red were 
restored with a very slight underlay to bring them the least 
bit above the level of the rest of the form. These words were 
inked in red, and a frisket, cut so as to mask all the form ex- 
cept the red-inked words, was laid down and the form once 
more put through the press. This procedure added greatly to 
the cost of the job, and it must have been the element of cost, 
as well as the need of highly skilled pressmen to carry out the 
details, that made it unpopular with the American printers. 
But when the largest publication project of the first half of 
the century was brought to a close in Boston in 1726, the 
printers signalized their pride in the volume produced, or, 
perhaps, their relief at its completion, by a fine display of red 
on its tall, well-ordered title-page. This book was the Rev. 
Samuel Willard's Compleat Body of Divinity, published by 
subscription through Benjamin Eliot and Daniel Henchman, 
and printed in the separate establishments of Bartholomew 
Green and Samuel Kneeland. It is a volume of 500 leaves in 
folio, which, were its origin not declared in its imprint, would 
surely be attributed to the shop of a competent London printer. 
Thereafter, in the luxury books of the period, rubrication of 
the title-page was occasionally resorted to by the printer. In 
1 728 William Parks printed his Muscipula title-page in black 
and red ; in 1736 Lewis Timothy produced an excellent result 
with the rubricated title-page of his Laws of South Carolina ; 
and in 1744 Franklin printed in black and red the title of his 
Cato Major. But even in the printing of what Moxon calls 
"Books of Price," rubrication was infrequent. The cost and 

[ 281 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

particularity of the process were doubtless the chief reasons 
for its neglect. Another deterrent to its employment may well 
have been the difficulty of securing the proper pigment to be 
ground into the varnish to make an acceptable red ink. Ver- 
milion was the most highly approved substance, and this or 
any other pigment, such as red lead, had to be mixed with a 
specially prepared varnish to prevent too quick drying on the 
form and on the ink balls. In short there were so many diffi- 
culties in the way of the ambitious craftsman who might 
have wanted to use red and black on a title-page that one 
does not wonder at the inf requency of his attempts to do so. 
One of the noblest books ever printed in America, not for- 
getting the product of these days of mechanical typograph- 
ical appurtenances, was the Missale Romanum, a folio which 
came from the press of Antonio de Espinosa in Mexico City 
in 1 56 1 . A beautifully conceived book, rubricated through- 
out in proper liturgical style, it is also a typographic tragedy. 
Midway of the volume the printer's supply of pigment began 
to give out, and from that point onward his pure red begins 
to grow paler and paler until, towards the end, it becomes the 
very ghost of itself, and a brownish, muddy ghost at that. 
But as no American printer of the north ever attempted so 
grand a book as Espinosa's missal of 1561, none ever had so 
great an achievement to rejoice over, or so great a tragedy to 

It is foolish perhaps to spend so much time in the discus- 
sion of a procedure our printer did not customarily follow, 
but we must be allowed the space thus consumed for the ex- 
pression of regret that the product of his press as a whole 
seems austere in its monotonous black and white. We may 
feel that today there is too much color coming from the print- 
ing houses, that color is often unconsciously called into serv- 

[ 282 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

ice to distract the eye from weakness in design, but none the 
less we wish that the colonial printer had lightened his 
sombre pages more frequently than was the case with a rubri- 
cated title. 

Book Illustration and Engraved Maps 

It is impossible to speak of the physical character of the 
books that came from the colonial shop without thinking 
sooner or later of the illustrations with which some of them 
were embellished. There is danger in taking up that subject; 
it is so close to the larger and more varied field of engraving 
in general that we must keep in mind the scope of our present 
interest or prepare to be lost. Even so, the field is so large that 
it may be covered only here and there in time and space. The 
eighteenth-century engravers were numerous and industrious, 
and the printers gave them frequent employment. 8 

The earliest book from the American press to carry a pic- 
torial embellishment was the Boston, 1677, edition of Hub- 
bard's Narrative of the Indian Wars. The printer of this 
book was John Foster, who before buying the equipment of 
Marmaduke Johnson and putting into effect that worthy 
man's plans for establishing the press in Boston, had already 
taken up the art of wood-cutting, for it was wood-cutting and 
not wood-engraving in which he worked. Probably before 
1670 he cut the portrait of the Reverend Richard Mather, a 
separate print sometimes referred to as a book illustration 
because one of the three known copies of it was found bound 
in a copy of Increase Mather's life of Richard Mather, print- 
ed at Cambridge in 1670. It is generally accepted today, how- 
ever, that the print was a separately issued portrait, and 
though the evidence that it was cut by Foster is not of the 

[ 283 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

strongest there is excellent reason for believing it to be of his 
workmanship. It is, indeed, accepted and acknowledged as 
the earliest engraved and printed American portrait. Ac- 
cording to a statement by John Eliot, Foster engraved an 
ABC book, no copy now known, for the use of the Indians, 
and there is evidence that the seal of Massachusetts found in 
Increase Mather's Brief History of the War with the In- 
dians, of Boston, 1676, was of his workmanship. In this same 
year appeared the book first mentioned in this connection, 
Hubbard's Narrative, in which is found a whole sheet wood- 
cut map, entitled A Map of New-England, Being the first 
that ever was here cut. In view of Foster's known skill, or 
lack of it, as a wood-cutter, and his known printing of Hub- 
bard's book, the attribution to him of this print goes without 
serious question. 9 

It may be said with a reasonable degree of impunity that the 
earliest copperplate engraving of the colonies is the portrait 
of Increase Mather by Thomas Emmes, of Boston, which ap- 
pears as frontispiece in certain copies of Mather's Blessed 
Hope of 1701, and his Ichabod of 1702. 10 That claim to 
priority is subject to two considerations. One of these is 
that the Massachusetts bills of credit of 1690 may have been 
engraved by the same John Conny, or Cony, who engraved 
the paper currency of that colony in 1702. The other is that 
there exists a Mapp of the Rariton River, engraved by R. 
Simson for which 1683 as tne y ear °f publication and New 
York as the place have been, it seems, too credulously 
accepted. It is probable, however, that this map was not 
even drawn until 1685, or later, and the assertion that it 
was engraved and printed in this country rests upon the 
misreading of a contemporary document in which it is men- 
tioned. The result of a reexamination of the evidence of- 

[ 284 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

fered in support of the claim is given in our appended note. 11 
The historian of American engraving breathes more freely 
when he learns that sometime in 1716 there appeared in Bos- 
ton one Francis Dewing "who Engraveth and Printeth Cop- 
perplates." 12 Here was a professional engraver who in all prob- 
ability brought with him from London a copperplate printing 
press and went about the business as a means of livelihood. Al- 
most his first work as an engraver in Boston must have been the 
Chart of the English Plantations in North America, from the 
mouth of the Great River Messasipi to the Canada River. By 
Captain Cyprian Southack. Engraved and printed by Fra. 
Dewing, Boston, New England, iy iy. Of this example of 
Dewing's work the single known copy is found in the British 
Public Record Office. 13 Dewing was still established in Bos- 
ton in 1 722, when there was published in that place and year 
John Bonner's Town of Boston in New England . . . "En- 
graven and Printed by Fra. Dewing. . . ." 

In most of the chief towns of the colonies after this date 
the engraving and printing of copperplates began slowly to 
become matters of commonplace procedure. It seems that 
once more we must allow Franklin priority in a business con- 
nected with the printing of the middle colonies, for whether 
or not there had existed before his time a copperplate press 
in that part of the world, we are willing to believe he was the 
first there or elsewhere in the country to manufacture one. In 
another connection the A utobiography has been cited to show 
him, taught by his London experience, "contriving" such a 
machine in 1728 for Keimer's use in the printing of New 
Jersey paper money. This incident is an interesting feature 
in the background of the history of engraving in Philadel- 
phia. Some twenty years later we find in that city, and in 
New York and Boston, groups of engravers busily making 

[ 285 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

separate prints and maps and lending their skill to the print- 
ers for the embellishment of their books. 

The mention of Franklin's construction of a copperplate 
printing press brings up another aspect of the subject of 
American printing and engraving. The woodcut, with due 
care for underlay, inking, and impression, was customarily 
printed as part of the form of type on the letterpress printing 
press, but the copperplate, a plate engraved in intaglio, must 
be printed separately on a specially constructed press in which 
a revolving cylinder bearing upon a horizontally moving bed 
forced the paper into the engraved or etched lines and com- 
pelled it to take up the ink with which they were filled. The 
printing of a copperplate could be accomplished, though 
crudely, with a makeshift mechanism. It is recorded that in 
1784 John Fitch, of steamboat fame, printed his copperplate 
Map of the Northwest Part of the United States on a cider 
press, and, looking at it, one realizes that in its printing, what- 
ever the form of press employed, the hand of the amateur had 
been at work with makeshift equipment. 14 For good results 
an engraver's press with its great wheel and cylinder was es- 
sential, and we are led to inquire to what extent the American 
letterpress printing establishment elaborated its equipment 
by the inclusion in it of a copperplate press. The answer 
seems to be not at all. But this is not a matter of absolute cer- 
tainty, though no engravers' press seems to be found in the 
inventories of printing houses that have come to my atten- 
tion. But it is probably safe to say that the printing of cop- 
perplate engravings was a separate industry in this country 
in the colonial period as it has been, in general, ever since. 
We have observed that in 1716 Francis Dewing of Boston 
advertised himself as one "who Engraveth and Printeth 
Copperplates." It is not known who printed the Lewis Evans 

t 286 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

maps of Philadelphia, 1 749 and 1755, engraved respectively 
by Lawrence Hebert 15 and James Turner, but in 1756 in 
that city another map of Turner's engraving, Joshua Fisher's 
Chart of Delaware Bay, was printed by one John Davis, and 
in 1759 Nicholas Scull's six-sheet map of Pennsylvania was 
printed by this same Davis, who does not seem to have con- 
ducted a letterpress printing establishment but to have been 
a specialist printer of copperplates. The maps in the New Jer- 
sey Bill in Chancery, New York, 1747, carry the information 
that they were "Engraved and Printed by James Turner." At 
that time Turner, better known for his later Philadelphia ac- 
tivities, was resident in Boston. George Simpson Eddy sug- 
gests that he was the Boston artist whom Franklin paid for 
engraving the folding copperplate print for his A ccount of the 
New Invented Pennsylvanian Fire-Places, of Philadelphia, 
1744. 16 Towards the end of the century in Boston, William 
Norman carried on what must have been an elaborate copper- 
plate printing establishment. 17 The evidence suggests, there- 
fore, that from a relatively early day the colonial printer and 
publisher of sufficient ambition to illustrate his product with 
engravings found himself in the larger towns served by the 
specialist copperplate printer. 

It is customary to say of the early American engravers that 
their work was crude. This can be said with truth of their 
portrait and landscape production. Most artistic expression 
of the time and place was crude; certainly, if we may judge 
by the "American primitives" which the museums love to 
place upon their walls, the engraved work of the century was 
no less skilful in execution than the portrait painting. But 
these crude attempts at graphic portrayal pleased the peo- 
ple for whom they were intended. Not many of them had 
seen enough of the finished products of European artists to 

[ 287 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

realize that the prints and paintings they bought were halt- 
ing efforts at expression. We may take it for granted, there- 
fore, that most of the engraved work of this category that 
went into the early colonial books was rudely accomplished 
even when it had been well and faithfully conceived. The 
interesting thing about it all is that it spoke of the vitality 
of the art spirit in these people, of their desire to beautify, 
to embellish, to adorn. The interesting thing, to put it dif- 
ferently, is not so much how skilfully they did it, but that 
they wanted to do it at all and finally succeeded in doing it 
well. For there was a tremendously great advance in draw- 
ing, engraving, and printing between the work of Foster and 
Emmes of the seventeenth century and that of a group of men 
of the closing years of the eighteenth who united to illustrate 
a book, later to be spoken of, which was the highest achieve- 
ment of the eighteenth-century American press. 

Engraved Maps 

Some of the maps of the eighteenth century, whatever their 
artistic quality, have nevertheless been effective in the ac- 
tivities of their times and have since become part of the his- 
tory of men and books. Lewis Evans's map of 1749 engraved 
by Lawrence Hebert in Philadelphia, and his more impor- 
tant Map of the Middle British Colonies, engraved by James 
Turner to accompany Evans's Geographical Essays, of 1755 '•> 
Thomas Johnston's Plan of the Battle of Lake George, said 
to be the first historical print engraved in the United States, 
published with Samuel Blodgett's book of that name; Abel 
Buell's Chart of Say brook Bar, of 1774, and his Map of the 
United States, of 1784; the Amos Doolittle maps in Morse's 
Geography in several editions; Henry Pursell's Map of 

I 288 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

Kentucke in John Filson's History of Kentucke, 1784; Ber- 
nard Romans's many maps and charts; William Norman's 
elaborate American Pilot are all documents of consequence 
that must be taken into account in a consideration of the ef- 
fectiveness of the colonial press. When the bibliography of 
American printed maps, now in preparation by the William 
L. Clements Library, is completed, it will be understood what 
a great service to the country was performed by that coordina- 
tion between the colonial publisher and the colonial engraver 
which brought this more than respectable body of cartograph- 
ical material into being. 

The Illustration of Architectural Books 

James Turner was first of Boston, then of Philadelphia; 
John Norman went through the reverse order in his choice of 
residences. Both these men deserve monographic treatment. 
Norman is responsible, indeed, for the publication of the first 
book of architecture printed in this country. Only thirteen edi- 
tions of books strictly of this class, comprising nine different 
works, were printed here in the eighteenth century, but this 
small group forms a peculiarly interesting product of the 
American press because of the influence they and their im- 
ported prototypes exerted upon the physical face of town and 
country. Norman published in folio in Philadelphia, in 1775, 
a reprint of an English work, Abraham Swan's British Archi- 
tect, and began in that same year a more elaborate publication 
in folio of Swan's Collection of Designs in Architecture. Nor- 
man, who described himself as "Architect and Landscape En- 
graver," made the plates for these two books, of which only 
the first, containing sixty folio plates, seems to have been com- 
pleted. Later, in Boston, he published another edition of the 

[ 289 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

British Architect; a compilation of his own called the Town 
and Country Builder s Assistant ; and the 1792 edition of Wil- 
liam Pain's Practical Builder. All these books were fully and 
skilfully illustrated, the engravings presumably by Norman 
himself. 18 

One book which came in 1800, at the very end of the cen- 
tury, and which must be regarded as distinctly a jewel in the 
product of the American press was Views of Philadelphia . . . 
"Drawn and Engraved by W. Birch & Son." Not exactly an 
architectural book, this volume is that and something more, 
for it contains, finely rendered, the results of architectural 
achievement as seen in the private houses and public buildings 
of a rich and stately city. 

The Silversmith as Engraver 

The illustrated books of the South in this period were ex- 
tremely few. Stauffer says that prior to 1775 the only en- 
graver south of the Mason & Dixon line was Thomas Spar- 
row, of Annapolis. Sparrow was a silversmith who made a 
number of very simple book-plates, engraved paper money, 
cut in wood the arms of the Province for the title-page of 
Bacon's Laws of Maryland in 1765, and engraved in metal 
a title-page and some tables for Elie Vallette's Deputy Com- 
missary' 's Guide, published by Anne Catherine Green in An- 
napolis in 1774. Sparrow represented a well-known type 
among American engravers, the silversmith who practised 
engraving as a subsidiary craft, employing in it the technique 
he used for incising coats of arms and decorative designs on 
coffee pots, urns, and other products of his manufacture. Paul 
Revere of Massachusetts was another of these, as were Amos 
Doolittle and Abel Buell of Connecticut. Revere's engraving 

[ 290 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

showed him to be a more indifferent artist than silversmith. 
His engravings for Thomas Church's History of King 
Philip's War, Newport, 1772, and his plates for Rivington's 
edition, New York, 1774, of Hawkesworth's New Voyage 
{of Captain Cook] round the World are poor even for the 
time and place. His engraving of Benjamin Church in the 
first of these books has provided generations of bookmen with 
amusement, for he has simply copied the portrait of the Eng- 
lish poet, John Churchill, slung a powder horn around the 
subject's neck and called it Colonel Benjamin Church. In- 
deed the portrait engraving of the century represented the 
lowest point of accomplishment. From impressive work in 
the engraving of architectural details and elevations, maps, 
plates for military handbooks, and a varied general product, 
John Norman descended into the depths with his series of 
portraits of American Revolutionary leaders in the Boston, 
1781-1784, edition of the Impartial History of the War. 
Regarding the namby-pamby features he has given our lead- 
ing soldiers, one wonders whether, after all, it was not really 
the French who won the war. 19 And yet most collectors try in 
vain to form a complete set of the book. The third volume is 
almost unobtainable. 

Towards the end of the century we find Isaiah Thomas of 
Worcester issuing a folio Bible, illustrated with fifty plates 
by such finished engravers as Samuel Hill, John Norman, 
and Joseph Seymour. Several other Bibles of this decade drew 
upon these and other engravers to an extent that must have 
suggested to them the approach of a Golden Age. But the fin- 
est group of American engravings of the century fittingly 
forms part of its greatest typographical triumph, the Dobson 
edition, 18 volumes, Philadelphia, 1790-1797, of the third 
edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. A great number of 

[ 291 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

engravers were employed in illustrating this book— re-edited 
in America, printed in America with American-made types— 
and the result makes it clear that the art of engraving for the 
book in this country had come of age. A further description of 
the Encyclopedia forms the concluding section of the pres- 
ent chapter and of this book on the colonial printer, but men- 
tion should be made here of the separately printed article 
from it which was published as A Compendious System of 
Anatomy in which appeared twelve plates engraved with spe- 
cial skill and delicacy by R. Scot, of Philadelphia. 

General Comment 

Enough has been said in this concluding chapter of the phys- 
ical characteristics of colonial printing to suggest that at close 
approach, the subj ect shows itself sufficiently varied to deserve 
the consideration of the student of typography. Much of the 
work was carelessly done by ignorant, heedless men to whom 
the quickest and cheapest way was the best; more of it was 
simply the result of mediocrity in craftsmanship. But there 
was a saving remnant which may not be overlooked or de- 
spised. Some examples of the best of the work have been men- 
tioned more than once throughout this book ; others will occur 
to the minds of those who know the period and the product of 
its press. Those who have not looked at the colonial printer's 
efforts from this standpoint have before them the thrill of 
personal discovery of merit. 

The best printing of the eighteenth century in America 
possesses, indeed, a special quality inherent in the best print- 
ing of other periods, the quality of expressing in its style the 
spirit of the age that produced it, reflecting that spirit as does 
the architecture of the time and the work of the cabinet mak- 

[ 292 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

ers, the silversmiths, the gardeners, and all those whose busi- 
ness it was to create material shapes and designs. The spirit 
of classicism everywhere informed the artistic impulses of the 
century, and to the vigorous aspiration of the Middle Ages, 
to the rich experimentation of the Renaissance, had succeeded 
the reticence, the discipline, the quiet sureness of the neo- 
classical revival. One may love the eighteenth century or 
turn from it chilled and uncomforted, but in either case, one 
perceives in its art forms and in its mind a coolness and poise 
unknown in other periods of the Christian era. Examining the 
best typography of the time in America, one perceives in- 
stantly that though it lack fire, imagination, and aspiration, 
yet in it, as in the stately houses and the tranquil gardens, is 
expressed that cool, balanced serenity which characterizes 
the mind and manners of the eighteenth century. 

The High Point 

These chapters on the Product of the Press cannot be 
brought to an end more suitably than by an account of a book 
printed in the closing decade of the eighteenth century which, 
from every standpoint save that of the esthetic, is the highest 
achievement in bookmaking to proceed from the period of 
our interest. This book, which finds casual mention more than 
once in our pages, is the Encyclopedia; or, a Dictionary of 
Arts, Sciences, and miscellaneous Literature, the first Amer- 
ican edition, in brief, of the Encyclopedia Britannic a. The 
publication of the third, and first American, edition of the 
great book was begun in 1790 by Thomas Dobson, of Phila- 
delphia, and brought to an end by that same enterprising 
printer and publisher with the completion in 1797 of his 
eighteenth large quarto volume of approximately 800 pages 

[ 293 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

and thirty plates each. A note in Evans's American Bibliog- 
raphy, No. 22486, gives a full and admirable history of the 
project. Begun as a work to be issued to subscribers in weekly 
parts, that cumbersome, wasteful, and expensive method of 
publication was soon changed to one by which a half volume 
was issued every ten weeks. At the end of the period a gen- 
eral title-page and title-pages for the volumes were provided, 
each bearing the somewhat misleading date, 1798. The type, 
as already stated in our chapter on Type Founding, was made 
especially for the book by John Baine & Grandson, of Phila- 
delphia, and, Mr. Evans tells us, the paper for the book was 
manufactured in Pennsylvania. In another chapter I have 
suggested that it was the knowledge of Dobson's proposal to 
print this great work which brought the Baines to America 
and so opened a new period in the history of American type- 
founding. Earlier in the present chapter has appeared an ex- 
pression of admiration for the high quality of the 543 cop- 
perplate engravings by American artists which are distribut- 
ed throughout the volumes of the set. It is a satisfaction to 
say once more that in these plates by such skilled craftsmen 
as Scot, Thackara, Vallance, Trenchard, Allardice, the Smith- 
ers, and Seymour one observes the coming of age of American 
book illustration. The whole work, illustrations, type of va- 
rious sizes, and paper, even though somewhat drab in color, 
shows an achievement of professional craftsmen working 
together for an enlightened publisher. The first American 
book on anything like such a scale, Dobson's Encyclopedia 
marks the end of printing in America as a household craft 
and the beginning of its factory stage of development. One 
inevitably contrasts Dobson's achievement in eighteen sub- 
stantial quarto volumes with the inconspicuous Bay Psalm 
Book with which, a century and a half earlier, Stephen Daye 

[ 294 ] 

The Product of the Colonial Press 

had made his tentative but courageous beginning in the 
printing of American books. The comparison is too facile, 
too superficial, to possess real value without amplification, 
but it shows at least a striking economic, typographical, and 
social development over the period in which, everywhere, the 
old world took on the aspects of the present industrial civili- 

[ 295 ] 

Appendix to Chapter IV 

The Colonial Printing Press 

THE drawings which compose this appendix are designed to show 
graphically details of the wooden press used in colonial America 
and the differences between the common press and that which Moxon 
described and commended in the Mechanic k Exercises of 1683 as the 
Blaeu Press. The features common to the two presses and their differ- 
ences are discussed at length in the text of Chapter IV, but with the lack 
of complete clarity that usually ensues upon an attempt to describe me- 
chanical details without the aid of diagrams. Recognizing this defect in 
the discussion as it appeared in the first edition of the Colonial Printer, 
Mr. Ralph Green of Chicago offered with some hesitation to make a few 
drawings for illustrative purposes to accompany the present edition of 
the book. It is hoped that the interest and obvious gratitude with which 
his offer was received by the author removed from Mr. Green's mind 
whatever may have been there as the basis of his hesitation. Every 
reader of the book will join the author and the publishers in their feel- 
ing of obligation to Mr. Green and of appreciation of the interest and 
helpfulness of the drawings he has provided for the book. 

Mr. Green, of the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, is an engineer 
who has studied for years the structure of the old printing press, purely 
as a personal hobby. His reconstructions are made possible through 
assiduous and careful reading of the texts of Moxon, Stower, and other 
authors of manuals, and through the examination of such actual speci- 
mens of the old presses as have come to his attention. 

The study of the press can be carried further by the student through 
the chapters on its structure and use found in the manuals of Moxon, 
Stower, Johnson, and Hansard. 

[ 297 ] 




Plate A 


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Hose . |WvAa 



• Tympan 


Cramp Irons 

Plate B 




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_1 A 

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, W EM 

Plate E 


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Plate F 


Notes to Chapter II 

The Beginnings of the Colonial Press 

ANY study of printing origins in the American colonies is based pri- 
- marily upon three books : Thomas, The History of Printing in 
America; Evans, American Bibliography, and Brigham, Bibliography 
of American Newspapers. The promised four volumes of Douglas C. 
McMurtrie will contain, fully set forth and documented, the story of 
the printing origins of the whole country. Volume II of this History of 
Printing in the United States (all yet published) treats the colonies of 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, District 
of Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. 
Specific reference will not be made to these indispensable works in the 
notes to this chapter except for unusual reasons. 

1. The story of the early Massachusetts press is found in Littlefield, 
The Early Massachusetts Press, and Roden, The Cambridge Press, 
1638-1692. Invaluable material relating to its early history is incorpo- 
rated in Eames, The Bay Psalm Book, and in the same writer's Biblio- 
graphic Notes on Eliot's Indian Bible ; Green, John Foster, discusses 
the first Boston press, and a few facts of importance not recorded else- 
where are in Winship, The New England Company of 1649 and John 
Eliot. Any account of the printing of the Eliot Indian Bible must take 
into consideration the appearance in Cambridge in 1655 of The First 
Book of Moses called Genesis. No copy of that book had been identified 
by modern bibliographers until 1937, when the late Wilberforce Eames 
located a copy of it at King's College, London. Mr. Eames's communica- 
tion of his discovery to the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, through 
Matt B. Jones, in November, 1937, was the culmination of the last, but 
not the least important, of what he called his "bibliographical ventures." 

2. A Narrative of the Newspapers Printed in New England, by A. Z., 
is one of the earliest writings consciously intended as a contribution to 
the history of American printing. 

3. Connecticut printing origins are exactly treated in Love, Thomas 
Short, the First Printer of Connecticut ; the story is carried on by Trum- 
bull, List of Books Printed in Connecticut, 1709-1800 ; and by Bates, 
A Bibliographical List of Editions of Connecticut Laws, where is given 
on page 13 the title and description of the Act of Assembly of June 8, 
1709, regarded here as the first Connecticut imprint. On this point, see 
also Love, Thomas Short, pages 42-44. 

[ 301 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

4. Hammett, Bibliography of Newport; Chapin, Ann Franklin of 
Newport, Printer, 1756-1763, and the Rhode Island Imprints of Win- 
ship, Chapin, and Steere are the chief sources for the origins of printing 
in Rhode Island. Printers and Printing in Providence, takes up the tale 
for the city named in its title, and accounts of William Goddard are 
found in Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland, and in 
the same writer's William Goddard and Some of his Friends. See 
also the recently published Maryland Press, 1777-1790, by Joseph 
Towne Wheeler. 

5. The events leading to the establishment of printing in New 
Hampshire are derived from Isaiah Thomas, 2d ed., I. 129-132, and 
from the other general works named at the head of these notes. Otis G. 
Hammond called my attention to the Bulletin of the American Antiqua- 
rian Society, November, 1915, No. 5, in which Charles L. Nichols dis- 
cussed the order of the first New Hampshire imprints as stated in the 
Library of Congress copy of Fowle's almanac for 1757. Dr. Nichols's 
discussion of the point at issue is found at greater length in the Proceed- 
ings of the A merican A ntiquarian Society, October, 1915, XXV. 327-330. 

6. The question of the first printing for the Vermont government is 
treated fully in H. G. Rugg, The Dresden Press. 

7. A thorough check list of the output of the Maine Press is found in 
Noyes, A Bibliography of Maine Imprints to 1820, and Supplement. 
This book was compiled through Mr. Noyes's industry and, with the 
aid of Mrs. Noyes, was set in type and printed by him. The determina- 
tion of the order of the imprints in our Maine section was made possible 
through the interest of Clarence Saunders Brigham, whose search for 
us in the pages of the Falmouth Gazette underlies our statement of 
priority. On this point, see also William Nelson, Notes [on] the Ameri- 
can Newspaper. 

8. Besides the works mentioned in the text, one turns first of all for 
information concerning the beginnings of printing in Pennsylvania to 
C. R. Hildeburn, The Issues of the Press in Pennsylvania, 168 5-1784 ; 
Wallace, William Bradford ; Bullen, The Bradford Family of Printers, 
and to McCulloch, Additions to Isaiah Thomas's History of Printing. 
See also Wroth, The St. Mary's City Press.Tht full biography of George 
Keith by Ethyn Williams Kirby will, it is hoped, soon be published. 

9. Writers on the printing history of New York have expended most 
of their efforts on its early aspects. The contributions of Livingston 
Rutherfurd, Victor Hugo Paltsits, and Alexander J. Wall have been 

[ 302 ] 


drawn upon in other sections of this work. For the period of the origins 
treated in this chapter, the investigator turns to Moore, Historical Notes 
on the Introduction of Printing into New York, i6pj; Hildeburn, 
Sketches of Printers and Printing in New York ; Hasse, Some Materials 
for a Bibliography of the Official Publications of the General Assembly 
of New York, introduction to A Journal of the House of Representa- 
tives for His Majestie's Province of New York in America, and intro- 
duction to A Narrative of an A ttempt made by the French of Canada 
upon the Mohaques Country. In 1928 Wilberforce Eames, in The First 
Year of Printing in New York, made a concise statement of Bradford's 
beginnings in his city of refuge and suggested a probable order for the 
imprints of his first twelvemonth of work. 

9a. I am indebted to A. S. W. Rosenbach, owner of the only known 
copy of the poem A Paraphrastical Exposition, etc., for a communica- 
tion, received too late for discussion in the text, which cites the text of 
New-England's Spirit of Persecution to prove that A Paraphrastical 
Exposition was the earlier of the two books to issue from the New York 
press. On page 22 of New-England's Spirit of Persecution is a reference 
to Samuel Jenings in which the author uses the derogatory words, 
"and compare himself to poor Mordecai." On the title-page of A Para- 
phrastical Exposition is a reference to this same Jenings in the words, 
"a certain Person who compared himself to Mordecai." Now although 
the quoted words as used in New-England's Spirit of Persecution maybe 
a reminiscence of their appearance on the title-page of A Paraphrastical 
Exposition, it is equally probable that the converse is true and that 
New-England's Spirit of Persecution may thus be proven earlier than 
the other book. Eut both these arguments overlook the fact that on a cer- 
tain occasion Jenings had publicly compared himself to poor Mordecai 
and the probability that the authors of both books were writing with 
independent recollections of that event in mind. Unless supporting evi- 
dence can be found, the two references thus become of uncertain value 
as determining factors in the question of priority. 

10. To the general works referred to at the beginning of this section 
must be added Nelson, Some New Jersey Printers and Printing in the 
Eighteenth Century ; Hildeburn, The Issues of the Press in Pennsyl- 
vania, 168 5-1784, Franklin's Autobiography, and Humphrey, Check- 
List of New Jersey Imprints. On the special subject of the Bradford and 
Keimer Laws of 1723 and 1728, Douglas C. McMurtrie has written in 
his Earliest New Jersey Imprint and his A Further Note on the New 
Jersey Acts of 1723. 

[ 303 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

1 1 . For the beginnings of printing in Delaware, see Hawkins, James 
Adams: the first Printer of Delaware. One turns also for knowledge of 
the press in that colony to the general works cited at the beginning of 
this section, and to Hildeburn, The Issues of the Press in Pennsylvania, 

12. It is much to be regretted that the work on Virginia printers left 
in manuscript by the late Lyon Gardiner Tyler has not found a pub- 
lisher. It is hoped that the researches of Helen Bullock, Archivist of 
Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., on Williamsburg imprints and related 
documents will be put into print, and also that the list of Virginia im- 
prints, 1750-1783, compiled by Bertha M. Frick will find publication. 
Excellent bibliographies exist in Clayton-Torrence, A Trial Bibliog- 
raphy of Colonial Virginia, and in Swem, A Bibliography of Virginia, 
Part III. The facts concerning Nuthead's attempt to set up a press in 
Virginia are found in Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Mary- 
land. The later permanent Virginia press of William Parks is treated 
in Wroth, William Parks, Printer and Journalist of England and Colo- 
nial America, and in McMurtrie, A History of Printing in the United 

13. The Maryland press prior to the Revolution is treated at length 
in Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland, 1686-1776; 
William Parks, Printer and Journalist ; The St. Mary's City Press. The 
later period of Maryland printing is treated in McMurtrie, A History 
of Printing in the United States and a full historical statement and bib- 
liography of the period 1777—1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler is soon 
to be published by the Waverly Press, Baltimore. 

14. See note 12, above. 

15. For the story of South Carolina printing origins, there exist sec- 
tions in the general works of Thomas, Evans, and Brigham, and in 
Salley, The First Presses of South Carolina. Franklin's manuscript 
"Ledger" in the American Philosophical Society (see Eddy, Account 
Books kept by Benjamin Franklin, Ledger 1728-1739) gives such de- 
tails of his relationship with Thomas Whitemarsh (so written by Frank- 
lin) as are not found in the Autobiography, where the facts relating to 
Lewis Timothy's South Carolina beginnings are recorded. The late 
Leonard L. Mackall of New York and Savannah called my attention to 
An Essay on Currency, of 1734. Through Mr. Mackall's efforts this 
unique piece was secured for the Charleston Library. See a letter in the 
Charleston News and Courier, November 25, 1917, headed "An Inter- 

[ 304 1 


esting Appeal." But the outstanding contributions to the history of 
printing in South Carolina are McMurtrie's First Decade of Printing in 
South Carolina and his Bibliography of South Carolina Imprints, 1731- 

16. Weeks, The Press of North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century. 
Published in 1 89 1 , this brief but admirably planned and executed study 
may well be taken as a model for the monographic treatment of typo- 
graphical history in the various states. See also McMurtrie, The First 
Twelve Years of Printing in North Carolina. With a Bibliography, 

17. For the history of Georgia printing there exists no source other 
than the general works of Thomas, Evans, Brigham, McMurtrie, and 
the laws of the colony. A note in the Catalogue of the De Renne Georgia 
Library, I. 145-146, by the late Leonard L. Mackall, brings together 
the available information on the first press. 

18. Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane tells one of the most fascinat- 
ing stories of American colonial history. The all important document 
regarding the setting up of Denis Braud's press is unfortunately omit- 
ted from the English translation of Gayarre's book. I was able to add 
to the initial knowledge of the New Orleans press gained from Gayarre 
through the interest of Wilberforce Eames, who allowed me to copy his 
manuscript list of early Louisiana imprints, one of the many instances 
in which every American bibliographical undertaking of this genera- 
tion is indebted to Mr. Eames's knowledge and to his generosity in dif- 
fusing it. Afterwards Douglas C. McMurtrie allowed me to consult the 
proof sheets of his New Orleans Imprints, a significant contribution to 
American bibliography, published in 1928, in which for the first time 
is recorded the Denis Braud imprint of 1764. 

19. For the story of the short-lived press in Florida, see Isaiah 
Thomas, History of Printing; William Nelson, Notes [on] the Ameri- 
can Newspaper ; Brigham, Bibliography of American Newspapers ; and 
McMurtrie, The First Printing in Florida. Mr. Brigham has allowed 
me to examine his revised but unpublished note on The East-Florida 
Gazette, written after the discovery by Worthington C. Ford in the 
Public Record Office, London, in 1926, of the three numbers of that 
newspaper spoken of in the foregoing text. Background material and 
biographical items of interest are found in Siebert, Loyalists in East 
Florida, 1774 to 1785, which contains, I. 134, a facsimile of the first 
page of the East-Florida Gazette for March 1, 1783, Vol. I, No. 5. See 

[ 305 1 

The Colonial Printer 

also the sketch of Dr. William Charles Wells in the Dictionary of 
American Biography. The question of priority between the two Florida 
imprints of 1784 is of less concern to Mr. Thomas W. Streeter, of Mor- 
ristown, N. J., than to any other individual or institution in the coun- 
try. He alone, so far as is known, owns both pieces. 

20. The establishment of the press in Mississippi is treated in the 
works by Nelson and Brigham cited in note 19, above, and in McMur- 
trie, Pioneer Printing in Mississippi, and his Preliminary Check List of 
Mississippi Imprints, 1798-1812. 

21. The Pittsburg press found a sympathetic historian in Thwaites, 
The Ohio Valley Press. See also McMurtrie, The Westward Migration 
of the Printing Press; and Brigham, Bibliography of American News- 

22. For the press in Kentucky, see the works cited in the note above. 
The citizens of Lexington in 1937 celebrated by public exercises the 
sesquicentennial of the introduction of printing into Kentucky. See 
especially "The Kentucky Gazette and John Bradford its Founder," by 
Samuel M. Wilson in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 
Vol. XXXI, Part II. 

23. The beginnings of the press in Tennessee find treatment in the 
works by Nelson and Brigham cited in note 19, above ; and McMurtrie, 
Early Printing in Tennessee. For Roulstone's career in Salem, Massa- 
chusetts, and information concerning his North Carolina and Tennes- 
see presses, see Tapley, Salem Imprints, pages 68—74. 

24. Early Ohio printing is discussed in the works cited in note 21, 
above. See also McMurtrie, Antecedent Experience in Kentucky of Wil- 
liam Maxwell, Ohio's first Printer. 

25. See McMurtrie, Pioneer Printing in Michigan. 

Notes to Chapter III 

The Colonial Printing House 

1. Despite the great changes that have occurred in the printing of 
books in the past century, the best school for one who would learn the 
ways of the old printers is a modern printing shop of moderate size in 
which he can observe and sometimes be allowed to take part in the va- 
rious processes. When he has learned the tools and the terminology of 

[ 3o6 ] 


the new era, fundamentally unchanged, he is well-prepared for a study 
of the old. Nowhere can this be better carried out than in the pages of 
Joseph Moxon, Mechanic k Exercises, London, 1683. The scarcity of the 
original edition need not trouble him, for there is a modern reprint 
available in the public libraries. Moxon's book is still the best guide in 
English to the ancient ways of the craft; it was written out of a large 
experience to instruct printers in the details of their work. The later 
books, such as Smith, The Printer s Grammar, London, i755,Luckombe, 
The History and Art of Printing, London, 1770, Johnson, Typographia, 
or the Printers' Instructor, 2 v., London, 1824, Hansard, Typographia, 
1825, include more than Moxon was concerned with, but in describing 
the processes of the shop, these writers follow him and a celebrated 
French writer, Fertel {La Science pratique de Vlmprimerie, 1723), with 
embarrassing fidelity. An excellent connecting link between present- 
day practice and that of the older period described by Moxon and 
Luckombe is found in Adams, Typographia, Philadelphia, 1837. Ac- 
quaintance made with these writers, the student must pass to Ronald 
B. McKerrow's Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students, Ox- 
ford, 1927, an expansion of his earlier Notes on Bibliographical Evi- 
dence, London, 1914. The new method of book study is systematized in 
this treatise, and since the publication of the earlier form of it in 1914, 
with its summary of knowledge of ancient shop ways, neither bibliog- 
rapher nor student of early literature has failed to comprehend the im- 
portance of knowing how the old printer went about his task. This 
knowledge is pleasantly and effectively conveyed by Mr. McKerrow in 
the enlarged form of his book cited above. 

2. The original sources of the lists of equipment presented here are : 
for the one-press shop, the very interesting letter from Franklin to 
Strahan in The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, edited by Albert Henry 
Smyth, III. 165-167 ; for the two-press shop, the inventories of (a) Wil- 
liam Rind, dated 1773, of (b) Anne Catharine Green, 1775, and of (c) 
John Holt, 1785, found respectively in : (a) William and Mary College 
Quarterly, WW. 16 ; (b) Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Mary- 
land, page 153, (c) Paltsits, John Holt, Printer and Postmaster, page 
498 ; for the three-press shop, James Parker's inventory and appraisal 
of the Franklin & Hall establishment given in Oswald, Benjamin 
Franklin, Printer, pages 92-93, original manuscript in the Typograph- 
ical Library of the American Typefounders Company, now owned by 
Columbia University. Franklin does not seem to have ordered for the 
New Haven shop which he procured for his nephew such articles as 

[ 307 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

could be made locally. On this account it has been necessary to estimate, 
and show in brackets, the number of certain easily made but essential 
articles not found in the list of the one-press shop. 

3. The processes of composing, proving, correcting, and imposing 
are found in complete detail in Moxon, II. 197-264, under the heading 
"The Compositers Trade." This feature of printing practice is dis- 
cussed in McKerrow, Introduction to Bibliography, pages 6-24. See 
also pages 65-66, where this writer says that the long galley seems to 
have come into use in book printing about the year 1841 , probably from 
earlier use in newspaper printing. 

4. One finds these values given for the Franklin press in the Auto- 
biography ; for the Whitemarsh press, in Franklin's "Ledger," Septem- 
ber 9, 1731, manuscript in the American Philosophical Society (see 
Eddy, Account Books kept by Benjamin Franklin) ; for the New Haven 
shop of Franklin's nephew in the Smyth edition of the Writings, III. 
165-167 ; for the Glover press in Roden's Cambridge Press, page 10 ; 
for Marmaduke Johnson's equipment in Littlefield's The Early Massa- 
chusetts Press, I. 263-264; for the establishment of Thomas Short in 
Love, Thomas Short, the First Printer of Connecticut, pages 34-35 I for 
the press Fowle sold to Thomas, in Volume I of the manuscript "Isaiah 
Thomas Papers" in the American Antiquarian Society ; for the Franklin 
& Hall printing house in Oswald, Benjamin Franklin, Printer, pages 
92-93 ; and for the Parks equipment in Wroth, William Parks, page 29, 
note 27. 

5. In his letter to Franklin, transmitting the partnership accounts 
(Oswald, Benjamin Franklin, Printer, pages 143-149), James Parker 
says that the exchange has been reckoned in the statement at a medium 
rate of 170. Virginia money in 1753 was reckoned in the "Accounts" of 
the Parks estate at the higher rate of 125. 

Notes to Chapter IV 

The Colonial Printing Press 

1. I have accepted for the sake of convenience in reference the term 
"Blaeu" as a useful designation of the superior press of the Low 
Country sort that Moxon attributed to Willem Janszoon Blaeu as in- 
ventor. I have found no evidence, except Moxon's undocumented state- 
ment, that Blaeu had any special connection with press building. The 

[ 3°8 ] 


question is discussed by David Pottinger in The Dolphin, Number j, A 
History of the Printed Book, Chapter X. 

2. Henry Lewis Bullen of the Typographic Library and Museum of 
the American Typefounders Company, now in the Columbia Univer- 
sity Library, suggests that Ramage came to Philadelphia in 1795, but 
his name does not appear in the city directories until 1800. 

3. Moxon's description of the Blaeu press, not always lucid, for the 
reason that he was writing for contemporaries among whom a knowl- 
edge of terms and processes might be taken for granted, is found in 
the Mechanic k Exercises, I. 37-74. Facing pages 37 and 39 are cuts of 
the old English press and of the Blaeu press respectively, the former 
from a drawing that shows no detail. Even so learned a printer as Theo- 
dore Low De Vinne seems to have been led by the omission of the rounce 
mechanism from this drawing to believe that it was not present on the 
older form of press (see note in his Moxon, II. 41 1). But on this point, 
see the representation of the press of Badius Ascensius (1507) m Ph- 
Renouard, Bibliographie des Impressions et des Oeuvres de Josse Ba- 
dius Ascensius, 1. 43 ; and the very interesting studies with illustrations 
by Falconer Madan, Early Representations of the Printing Press. 

4. See Moxon, II. 277-278 and I. 52, 58, for verbal and pictorial de- 
scriptions of the rounce mechanism and of the hose and garter. Atten- 
tion should be called to the fact that in Moxon's nomenclature of the 
parts of the press, the carriage is the part, comprising coffin and plank, 
which moves in and out beneath the platen. In the usage of Hansard, 
Stower, and other nineteenth-century writers, the carriage is the fixed 
part, comprising the ribs and frame upon which the plank and coffin 
move. See Mr. Green's drawing of the common press in our Appendix 
to Chapter IV. Johnson, Typographia, II. 502, remarks upon the superi- 
ority of the box hose. Drawings of the old Low Country press used by 
Plantin are shown in Max Rooses, Le Musee Plantin Moretus, pages 
324, 339. A letter from A. J. J. Delen, Conservateur of Le Musee Plan- 
tin-Moretus, March 25, 1937, addressed to Miss Margaret Bingham 
Stillwell in reply to an inquiry, affirms that the two presses illustrated 
on page 324 of the book of Max Rooses, showing the hose of the so- 
called Blaeu press, served the establishment in the second half of the 
sixteenth century. See Stillwell, The Seventeenth Century and Pottinger, 
The History of the Printing Press in The Dolphin, Number 3. For a cut 
illustrating the impressing mechanism of the improved Ramage press, 
see Adams, Typographia, page 327. 

[ 309 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

5. This quotation is from page 22 of James Watson, The History of 
the Art of Printing, a book rarely found in perfect condition with its 
folding plate of floriated initials, head and tail ornaments, etc. 

6. Cuts of the press Franklin worked at in Watts's shop in London 
are shown in Blades, The Pentateuch of Printing, page 56 ; in The Cen- 
tury Magazine, LVII. 804, April, 1899 ; and in Paul Leicester Ford, The 
Many Sided Franklin, page 189. The Blaeu type of press is shown and 
its parts described "after Moxon," in Luckombe, The History and Art 
of Printing, pages 291 et seq. ; the "common press" is found pictured 
and described in Stower, The Printer s Grammar, pages 301 et seq.', 
Johnson, Typographia, pages 497 et seq., performs the same service for 
the "improved wooden press." 

7. For Moxon's description of the ribs and cramp irons of the car- 
riage-moving mechanism, see his Mechanick Exercises, I. 67. Franklin's 
specifications for an improvement in this feature are found in the 
Smyth edition of the Writings, III. 165-167, Franklin to Strahan, Oc- 
tober 27, 1753. 

8. Moxon's section, "The Press-Mans Trade," is found in the Me- 
chanick Exercises, II. 269—345 ; the specific directions for the operation 
of the press occupy pages 319—328. On related points see McKerrow, 
Introduction to Bibliography, pages 38—70. McKerrow, pages 61—62, 
quotes Johnson, Typographia, to show that even as late as 1824, the 
platen of the wooden press was so small as to necessitate two pulls to a 
full form of type. The establishment of the pressman's rate of speed 
as eight tokens in a ten-hour day, that is four-fifths of a token an hour 
instead of the theoretical "token an hour," is aided by considerations 
found in Ethelbert Stewart, Documentary History, page 864. Assurance 
that this was the customary rate at another place and a far distant peri- 
od of printing history is found in "Some Contemporary Accounts of 
Renaissance Printing" {The Library, 4th series, XVII, 1936, pages 167 
et seq.), where Don Cameron Allen (page 169) quotes these sentences 
from Robert Ashley's Of the Interchangeable Course, or Variety of 
Things in the Whole World, 1594, a translation of L. le Roy's De la 
vicissitude ou variete de choses en Vunivers, 1579 : "taking the barre in 
his hand, he [the pressman] pulleth as hard as he can untill the leafe 
be imprinted on one side, on which they bestow half e the day ; and the 
other halfe, on the other side ; yelding in a day twelve hundred and 
fiftie sheetes, or thirteen hundred imprinted." One of the factors pre- 
scribed by the master printers in the Paris strike of 1539 (Updike, 

[ 310 I 


Printing Types, II. 256) was a working day from five in the morning 
until eight at night, or fifteen hours. Calculations show that working a 
full fifteen-hour day the product, at the rate of four-fifths of a token 
an hour, would have been something more than the maximum 1300 
sheets, printed both sides, recorded by le Roy as the French pressman's 
daily stint in 1579. In a fourteen-hour day, however, almost exactly 
1300 sheets would be produced. Taking into consideration the gradual 
loss of efficiency in a workman in the course of a fifteen-hour day it 
seems clear enough that the rate of eight tokens (a token being 240 
sheets printed one side) in ten hours, i.e. four-fifths of a token an hour, 
was maintained approximately in sixteenth-century France as well as 
in early nineteenth-century America. It is probably reasonable to re- 
gard this as the normal rate of the wooden press throughout the entire 
period of its history. One wonders whether it was maintained by the 
English and Scottish printers in the extraordinary working day they 
are reputed to have endured. (See page 161.) 

An interesting discussion of rate of speed of compositor and press- 
man is found, pages 21-24, in R. C. Bald, Bibliographical Studies in 
the Beaumont & Fletcher Folio of 1647, Oxford, 1938 (Supplement to 
the Bibliographical Society's Transactions. No. 13). It was through Mr. 
Bald's article that I became aware of the sixteenth-century testimony 
brought out in this note. It is of some importance to arrive at a conclu- 
sion in this matter, because few persons, even among careful students 
of typography, are aware of the excellent speed with which the old 
wooden press was habitually operated. Thirteen hundred finished 
sheets means 300 copies of an octavo book of 64 pages as the day's work 
of a single press. 

9. Goddard's pat corroboration of the announcement in the Massa- 
chusetts Gazette is found on the verso of the title-page for Volume III 
of the Pennsylvania Chronicle, February 12, 1770. 

10. Munsell's note in Isaiah Thomas, I. 36, derived from a letter 
from David Bruce interleaved in Munsell's copy of Adams's Typo- 
graphia, in the American Antiquarian Society, gives a description of 
the Ramage press, and Henry Lewis Bullen has communicated the in- 
formation as to the equipment of this press with springs to raise the 
platen. McKerrow discusses the raising of the platen in the operation 
of the common wooden press in the Introduction to Bibliography, pages 
50-51. McCulloch's mention of George Clymer's press is found in the 
Additions, pages 210-211. An exceedingly interesting account of the 

[ 3ii ] 

The Colonial Printer 

early iron presses, with cuts, is found in Adams, Typographic!, Phila- 
delphia, 1837, pages 322-337. 

1 1. The manuals of Johnson and Hansard, and the article of David 
Pottinger referred to in note 1, above, describe the Columbian, the Stan- 
hope, and other iron presses which replaced the wooden presses in the 
printers' shops of the first half of the nineteenth century. 

Notes to Chapter V 

The Type Faces of the Colonial Period 

1. The general subject of type founding and type faces finds its best 
exposition in English in Updike, Printing Types, a Study in Survivals, a 
new issue of which, with valuable additions to its notes, was pub- 
lished in the year 1937. In discussing type, Mr. Updike, from the full- 
ness and breadth of his knowledge, has also recorded the story of the art 
by means of which ideas are conveyed from man to man and from gen- 
eration to generation. The history of type founding in England is defini- 
tively set forth by Reed, A History of the Old English Letter Foundries. 
Though its matter has been well and critically used by Reed, one must 
not overlook Edward Rowe Mores, A Dissertation upon English Typo- 
graphical Founders and Founderies, reissued in 1924 by the Grolier 
Club, edited by D. B. Updike. Moxon's section, "Letter Cutting," I. 81- 
196, contains a practical treatment of the art that comprises the chief 
source for students of later periods. De Vinne, Plain Printing Types, 
offers an important modern treatment of the subject from the same 
standpoint. Legros and GTant,Typographical Printing Surfaces, is a val- 
uable treatment from both the technical and historical points of view. 

2. Bibliothec a Americana, London, 1789, though not a work of high- 
est authority, records matter of general interest in its introduction. It 
offers corroboration of this statement in the words, page 16, "They cast 
their own types in various parts of the continent, but they are neither so 
good nor cheap as those done in Europe. Great quantities are imported 
from Glasgow." This introduction, with a few slight changes, was 
foisted upon the Gentleman's Magazine for November, 1796, by Henry 
Lemoine, pretending to be the result of current investigation, and bear- 
ing the title "Present State of Printing and Bookselling in America." 
Unaware of the probable plagiarism by Lemoine, Douglas C. McMur- 
trie reprinted the article, with an introduction, Chicago, 1929. The word 
"probable" plagiarism is used because of the possibility that Lemoine 

[ 3 12 ] 


may have had a part in compiling the Bibliotheca Americana of 1789, 
a work of which the authorship has never been definitely established. 

3. Franklin's philosophic calm forsook him on this occasion when, 
instead of the brevier he had ordered, Caslon sent him bourgeois. This 
was bad enough in itself, but the fact that there was a difference in 
price of 6d. a pound was worse. He demanded sharply that Caslon re- 
turn him the sum of £1 1 15s. 6d. Writings (Smyth ed.), III. 337, 340, 
Franklin to Strahan. 

4. Luckombe, The History and Art of Printing, pages 220-222. 

5. The inventories drawn upon for this information are those of Wil- 
liam Rind, Jonas Green, John Holt, and Franklin & Hall (see note 2, 
Chapter III). The appraisal of Green's printing equipment was £53 
7-y. id. currency ; the 2250 pounds of type in his cases were set down at 
£32 is. 2d. or 60 per cent of the whole. The type in the Franklin & Hall 
appraisal represented 70 per cent of the value of the entire plant. 

6. Updike, Printing Types (1937), II. 150 and note, page 284. The 
gift is gratefully referred to by one of the authors of Dr. Wiggles- 
worth's and Mr. Greenwood's Discourses on the Death of Thomas Hol- 
lis, Esq., to use the concise half-title of a book of Boston, 1731. Mr. 
Updike says that in this gift Thomas Hollis was acting as the agent of 
an unknown donor. 

7. In Libros y Libreros en el Siglo XVI, a compilation of Inquisi- 
tion documents relating to the early Mexican printers and booksell- 
ers in their conflicts with the Holy Office, is found what seems un- 
mistakable evidence of the existence of type founding as an ordinary 
activity of the Mexican printers of the sixteenth century. In The First 
Typefounding in Mexico, Douglas C. McMurtrie quotes a document 
showing the origin of Espinosa's relationship with the Pablos estab- 
lishment in the capacity of type founder. In Wroth, The Origins of 
Typefounding in North and South America, is found an account of the 
Paraguayan and Mexican type founding of a later period. 

8. Paul Leicester Ford, The Journals of Hugh Gaine, I. 50, II. 217, 
et seq., tells of the difficulties of printing the Mohawk Book of Common 
Prayer of 1769. 

9. The facts of the brief statement given here of Abel Buell's type- 
founding venture are taken from Wroth, Abel Buell of Connecticut, 
Silversmith, Typefounder and Engraver. In an appendix to that book 
the Mitchelson claim is fully discussed. Since that argument was print- 

[ 313 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ed I have found the so-called Mein & Fleeming letter used in a London 
publication of 1767, J. Kirkpatrick's translation of Tissot's Avis au 
Peuple, entitled Advice to the People with Regard to their Health. It is 
not likely that the English printer of this book purchased type from 
Mein & Fleeming in America, but rather that both establishments pro- 
cured their letters from a common British source. It was late in 1766 
that the American firm began to use this distinctive face. Mitchel son's 
name appears in the "Boston Records of Land Titles," Liber 23, pages 
101—102 in 1769 and 1773. He signed an "Address" to Governor Hutch- 
inson in 1774, and is described as a lapidary and not a native of Amer- 
ica. {Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, XI. 393, 395.) On 
the evacuation of Boston in March, 1776, he joined the refugees who 
fled to Halifax. (Work last cited, XVIII. 267.) 

10. In Der Buchdrucker Christoph Bauer in Germantozvn, Gustav 
Mori affirms that in 1747 Franklin purchased type-founding tools for 
the Ephrata Brotherhood and taught the brothers their use, and that, 
further, the Ephrata press issued thereafter a book in which the brothers 
declared that the type was of their own making. One asks whether there 
is any relationship between this sale of tools by Franklin in 1747 and 
his purchase of a set in 1744. Mr. Mori does not name the Ephrata book 
in which occurred the assertion just mentioned, and one wonders wheth- 
er he had not in mind Ein Geisthches Magazien, No. XII, part 2, pub- 
lished by Sower in 1771 or 1772, referred to in the text below and in 
note 12, below. In that case he has not, as he affirms in his article, car- 
ried the beginnings of type founding in the United States twenty-five 
years further back than heretofore accepted. 

1 1 . See note 9, above. 

12. The story of the Germantown founders is given at greater length 
in Wroth, The First Work with American Types. The surname of Jacob 
Bay is variously spelled Bay, Bey, or Bay. The last-named spelling 
seems to be preferred by the editors of the Pennsylvania Archives. See 
note 9 in the article just cited. The only known copy of Ein Geistliches 
Magazien, No. XII, part 2, is found in the Typographic Library and 
Museum of the American Typefounders Company. Incomplete files of 
this periodical are in the John Carter Brown Library and in the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society. In the Worcester file is No. X with a colophon 
dated 1771, so that No. XII with its first German type must have been 
issued in this year or early in 1772. The statements quoted from Wil- 
liam McCulloch are found in McCulloch, Additions to Isaiah Thomas's 

[ 3H ] 


History of Printing. Separate treatment of the many activities of Fox 
has been presented in Nichols, Justus Fox, a German Printer of the 
Eighteenth Century. 

13. Updike, Printing Types, II. 152, gives the main facts of the Baine 
foundry. O'Callaghan, A List of Editions of the Holy Scripture printed 
in America Previous to i860, page xxviii, cites an advertisement on the 
cover of the American Museum, in which it is said that Carey's Douay 
Bible was to be printed from type made by Baine. The statement seems 
to be corroborated by the date and character of the bill (mentioned in 
the text) of John Baine & Co. to Matthew Carey found in the manu- 
script "Account Books of Matthew Carey" (37 volumes, 1785-1822), 
in the American Antiquarian Society, the most important existing series 
of documents of the American printing trade for the period it covers. 
Evans, No. 22486, records that the type for Dobson's Encyclopaedia 
was cast by the Baines. Bigmore & Wyman, Bibliography of Printing, 
under entries John Baine and Alexander Wilson, record the outlines of 
Baine's life before his coming to America. 

14. The sentences concerning Franklin's importation of type-found- 
ing equipment in 1744 are found in the Smyth edition of the Writings, 
II. 278. The letter to his Boston correspondent is in the same work, VII. 
393. The sources of knowledge of Bache's venture are : Updike, Print- 
ing Types, II. 152-153; Oswald, Benjamin Franklin, Printer, pages 
157-161, and Bache's "Diary," in manuscript, and a copy of his speci- 
men sheet, in the Typographic Library and Museum of the American 
Typefounders Company, now in the Columbia University Library. 

15. Mr. Henry Lewis Bullen called my attention to the details here 
given of Adam Mappa's foundry in New York. In Ars Typographica, 
II. No. 1, July, 1925, page 88, I find it affirmed that Mappa's type- 
founding equipment had formerly belonged to Reinhard Voskens of 
Amsterdam. A specimen sheet of Mappa's foundry in Delft, dated 
1785, occupies page 89 of the periodical here referred to. 

Notes to Chapter VI 

Printing Ink 

1. The sentences containing an order for lampblack and varnish 
with which this chapter begins are in a letter from Jonas Green to 
Franklin, given in full in Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial 

[ 315 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Maryland, page 82, where it was printed from the original in the Amer- 
ican Philosophical Society, "Franklin Papers," 1.6. In A Maryland Proc- 
lamation of 1737, I presented facts and suppositions which seem to 
show that Green was a former journeyman of Franklin's, possibly one 
of those sent out by the Philadelphia printer on a silent partnership 

2. The transaction between Franklin and Nathaniel Jenkins for the 
purchase by Franklin of a lampblack house is set down in Franklin's 
"Journal of Accounts," March 21, 1733, manuscript in the American 
Philosophical Society, reproduced in Eddy, Account Books kept by Ben- 
jamin Franklin, Ledger 1728-17 30, Journal 17 30-17 37, page 45. The 
reference to Armbruester is found in McCulloch, Additions, page 193. 
The record of possession of a lampblack house by Sower is found in the 
inventory taken at the time his property was confiscated by the govern- 
ment in 1778 because of his supposed loyalist actions and sympathies. 
This very interesting document, with its lists of equipment of printing 
houses, bindery, type foundry, and lampblack house is found in the 
Pennsylvania Archives, Series 6, XII. 870. For the details of Franklin's 
trade in lampblack and varnish see Eddy, work cited above, both vol- 

3. The well-known facts of the flax-raising and linen-manufactur- 
ing industries in the colonies are recorded in Bishop, A History of Amer- 
ican Manufactures, I. 34, 299-300, 335-336. The reference to linen 
making in Germantown in 1692 is based upon the lines quoted in the 
chapter, "The Paper of the Colonies" from Richard Frame, Short De- 
scription of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1692 (Hildeburn, No. 38), 
reprinted "nearly in facsimile" with an introduction by Horatio Gates 
Jones [Philadelphia], 1867. The destruction of the oil mill at the 
Ephrata Cloister is told in the Chronicon Ephratense by Brothers La- 
ntech and Agrippa, page 211. There are few colonial books equal in 
human interest to this record of a community of religious mystics set 
down in the American wilderness. 

4. Moxon's ink-making precepts are found in the Mechanick Exer- 
cises, I. 75-80. 

5. Franklin's dealings in ink, lampblack, and varnish are found at 
large in Eddy, Account Books kept by Benjamin Franklin, both vol- 
umes ; the purchases of ink by Carey from Fox are detailed in the manu- 
script "Accounts" of Matthew Carey in the American Antiquarian So- 

[ 316 ] 


6. James Parker's "Statement of Partnership" between Benjamin 
Franklin and David Hall, 1766, manuscript in the Historical Society 
of Pennsylvania. Before the publication of his Account Books kept by 
Benjamin Franklin, George Simpson Eddy of New York gave me a 
photostat copy of this statement, and sent me extracts from the 
"Ledger" and "Journal" among the "Franklin Papers" in the American 
Philosophical Society. 

Notes to Chapter VII 

The Paper of the Colonies 

1. The history of paper making in the United States has been so 
clearly set forth that little is left to be done except in the way of studies 
of particular mills or localities. In the present chapter I have drawn so 
largely upon the broad and well-interpreted researches of Lyman 
Horace Weeks, embodied in his History of Paper Manufacturing in the 
United States, that I make specific reference to it only for special rea- 
son. This acknowledgment is my tribute to a work I have found as help- 
ful as any single study yet undertaken in a special aspect of the Ameri- 
can printing trade. One has the further satisfaction of expressing 
gratitude to Dard Hunter for his Old Papermaking, and for his bibli- 
ography, The Literature of Papermaking. These two works, written by 
Mr. Hunter and printed by him on paper of his own manufacture, with 
type of his own design and casting, are specifically helpful in matters 
of American interest, and the first of them conveys, very clearly and 
pleasantly, knowledge of the processes of paper making as generally 
employed in the earlier centuries. 

2. For the source of these sentences from Green's letter to Franklin, 
see note 1 of the chapter, "Printing Ink." 

3. The verses which call attention to the existence of the Rittenhouse 
mill in Pennsylvania are cited from Hunter, The Literature of Paper- 
making. The original publication of Frame, A Short Description of 
Pennsilvania is commented upon in note 3 of the chapter, "Printing 
Ink." John Holme's True Relation of the Flourishing State of Pennsyl- 
vania, composed in 1696, remained in manuscript until it was pub- 
lished in 1847 as Bulletin, No. 13, of the Historical Society of Pennsyl- 

4. Besides the discussions by Weeks and by Hunter in the works 
cited, the Rittenhouse mill is treated in Barton, Life of David Ritten- 

[ 3*7 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

house, Jones, The Rittenhouse Paper Mill, and Wallace, William Brad- 
ford. The well-meant but fumbling attempts of McCulloch to state the 
origins of American paper making, in his communications to Isaiah 
Thomas, are to be forgiven that writer because of his important contri- 
butions to other aspects of the Pennsylvania printing trade. It is to be 
hoped that James F. Magee, Jr., of Philadelphia will one day publish 
the drawings and tracings of watermarks in American papers which he 
has been collecting assiduously for many years. In our Chapter XII 
there is found some data on the names and sizes of papers in the colo- 
nies and elsewhere. 

5. The statistics given for the Pennsylvania mills are taken from 
L. H. Weeks, pages 79-80. In the year 1794, Tench Coxe wrote in his 
View of the United States of America: "A single state, Pennsylvania, 
has upwards of fifty paper mills." 

6. The essential facts of early paper making in New York are found 
in the work of L. H. Weeks, and in Paul Leicester Ford, The Journals of 
Hugh Gaine, I. 44-46. Phillips, Bernard Romans, page 24, speaks of 
the Pennsylvania source of the special paper needed for the Romans 
maps of 1774. Samuel Loudon's interesting and pertinent letters are 
found in Wall, Samuel Loudon {1727-1813), Merchant, Printer and 

7. The paper-making activities of the Ephrata Cloister are spoken of 
in the Chronicon Ephratense. L. H. Weeks (work cited, note 1, above) 
and Hunter in Old Papermaking, discuss the Ephrata mill and repro- 
duce its watermarks. See also the Pennsylvania Magazine of History 
and Biography, V. 276-289. 

8. The facts of the Maryland subsidy of a mill are found in the Pro- 
ceedings of the Convention, May 25, 1776 ; the probable connection of 
the Goddards with a mill at Elkridge is discussed in Wroth, A History 
of Printing in Colonial Maryland, page 138 and note. 

9. The Parks mill at Williamsburg is given attention by L. H. Weeks, 
pages 33-35, and in Wroth, William Parks, page 24. The recent publi- 
cation by George Simpson Eddy of the Account Books kept by Benjamin 
Franklin adds appreciably to our knowledge of the Parks paper mill. 
But the most interesting recent discussion of the Parks mill is that 
referred to in the text by Rutherfoord Goodwin, The Williamsburg 
Paper Mill of William Parks, the Printer. 

10. The beginning of paper making in North Carolina is related by 
L. H. Weeks in the work so often cited here, but especially by Stephen B. 

[ 318 ] 


Weeks, The Press of North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century, pages 
50-52. The South Carolina mill of William Bellamy is discussed by 
L. H. Weeks, pages 39-40. 

11. Formerly the possession of Philip L. Spalding of Milton, this 
supposedly unique second issue of the Ames Almanack for 1730 is now 
one of the many antiquarian treasures of Amor Hollingsworth, of Mil- 
ton, to whom it was presented by Mr. Spalding in 1936. Appropriately 
enough, this change of ownership took place in the presence of many 
members of the Walpole Society, just returned from examining Mr. 
Hollingsworth's great collection of engraved portraits of Washington. 

12. The history of the New England paper mills is found in the gen- 
eral works ; in William Goold, Early Papermills of New England ; in 
Representation of the Board of Trade relating to the Laws made, Man- 
ufactures set up and Trade carried on in his Majesty's Plantations in 
America, 1734 (reprinted 1769) ; and in The Petition of Richard Fry 
and his Scheme for a Paper Currency, 1739 (reprinted, Providence, 
1908). The Rhode Island beginnings were not given full and exact 
treatment until Howard M. Chapin gave documents in an article en- 
titled, Early Rhode Island Paper Making, in the American Collector for 
May, 1926, pages 303-309. Trumbull, List of Books Printed in Con- 
necticut 1790-1800, No. 1 163m gives the details of Ebenezer Watson's 
establishment of a mill in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1776. 

13. The versified appeal for rags for the Williamsburg mill is quot- 
ed from L. H. Weeks, who transcribed it from the Virginia Magazine of 
History and Biography for April, 1920. It was communicated to that 
publication by Worthington C. Ford, who found it in a copy of the Vir- 
ginia Gazette for July 26, 1744. No copy of the Gazette for this date is 
now known to exist, but thanks to Mr. Ford's instinct for the rare and 
curious, we have as salvage this amusing ode, doubtless the most im- 
portant item in the missing journal. 

14. Franklin's success as a rag-gatherer is recorded in his manuscript 
"Journal of Accounts" in the American Philosophical Society (see Eddy, 
Account Books kept by Benjamin Franklin, Ledger 1728-1739, Journal 
17 30-17 37 > P a g e s 3°-3 1 > and Ledger "D" 17 39-1747, pages 16-35). 

15. L. H. Weeks gives an account of the rag famine and the general 
difficulties of paper making during the Revolution and describes the 
efforts of various governmental bodies and of the American Philosoph- 
ical Society to encourage the paper makers of the period. 

[ 319 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

16. This first appearance of an account of paper making or of any 
aspect of paper making in an American book is recorded by Dard Hun- 
ter in his Literature of Papermaking, pages 40 and 44. 

17. This suggestion, see Dard Hunter's article, "Papermaking," in 
The Dolphin, No. 3, came from Rene Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur in 
his work on the wasp. 

18. James Parker's "Statement of Partnership" of Franklin & Hall, 
manuscript in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The sum given in 
the text includes paper supplied the firm by Franklin himself to the 
amount of £1385. 

Notes to Chapter VIII 

The Journeymen and Apprentices 

1. The subject of the women printers of the colonies has been pleas- 
antly touched upon by Elizabeth Anthony Dexter, Colonial Women of 
Affairs, pages 166-179. One wishes that the activities of these vigorous 
women of the colonial printing shops might be given monographic 

2. The facts of Franklin's apprenticeship are found in the Autobiog- 
raphy ; of Thomas's early indenture, in Isaiah Thomas, 2d ed. I. xxi ; 
Zenger's case is given in the Documentary History of the State of New 
York (octavo edition) III. 564, 567 ; Zenger's articles of indenture are 
found in full in the Historical Magazine, VIII. 35, January, 1864. 

3. In Stewart, A Documentary History of the Early Organizations of 
Printers, pages 942-945, is found the first Constitution of the Philadel- 
phia Typographical Society, adopted November 6, 1802. In this study 
of the early nineteenth-century typographical societies, the author dis- 
cusses much legislation by the early unions affecting conditions of the 
trade that must have existed, in part certainly, in the colonial period. 

4. In Paul Leicester Ford, Journals of Hugh Gaine, I. 35-37, are 
found extracts from the New York Gazette that illustrate the difficul- 
ties experienced by the master printer in his relations with the journey- 
men and apprentices. 

5. Watson, The History of the Art of Printing, page 21. See Stewart, 
A Documentary History, etc., page 883, for wages and hours in Phila- 
delphia in 1816. 

[ 3 2 ° ] 


6. Manuscript letter among the "Isaiah Thomas Papers" in the 
American Antiquarian Society. 

7. A facsimile of the important Philadelphia scale of 1802 is given 
by Stewart, A Documentary History, etc., page 865. In the same work, 
page 866, is found the provision for the payment for the journeyman's 
"lost time." One learns of the pressman's average of eight tokens a day 
from Stewart, page 864. On the general subject of wages it may be 
worth while to quote the evidence of the anonymously issued Bibli- 
otheca Americana of London, 1789. Its author is often inexact in spe- 
cific statements, but his general notion of the state of the printing trade 
in his day is not unworthy of respect as that of an intelligent contempo- 
rary, friendly to the United States. On the subject of wages, he writes 
as follows : "The wages of printers are very great, and progressively 
so from the extreme parts of the northern to the southern states. In New 
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, journey- 
men printers have from three to eight dollars per week. In New York, 
Philadelphia, and Maryland, from five to ten per week; and in Vir- 
ginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, from eight to twenty 
and twenty-five, according to their merit and ability. Printers are very 
scarce in the Southern States." 

8. The tables from which these prices are taken are found in the His- 
torical Review of Wages and Prices, 1752-1860, Part IV, the Sixteenth 
Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics and Labor [of the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts] , August, 1885, pages 201-202, 434, 448. On 
pages 198-200 is found an excellently clear statement of the relation- 
ship between Massachusetts Old Tenor, lawful money, and the United 
States dollar. 

9. The labor organizations that began to take form late in the cen- 
tury are discussed by Stewart, A Documentary History, etc., pages 861- 
863, and the circular letter of the Philadelphia Typographical Society 
of 1802 is given on page 865. 

Notes to Chapter IX 

The General Conditions of the Trade 

1. The provisions with regard to Jonas Green cited in the opening 
paragraph of this chapter are found in the Acts of Assembly of Mary- 
land for the years named, and the paper and type difficulties of Cra- 

[ 3 21 1 

The Colonial Printer 

dock and Bacon are commented upon in Wroth, A History of Printing in 
Colonial Maryland, page 107, and No. 18cm of the Maryland Imprints 

2. The artless simplicity of the apologies for errors is often amus- 
ing, as when Edward Wigglesworth appends to the long list of errata 
in his Sober Remarks, Boston, 1724, the disarming sentence, "Lesser 
escapes are left to the Candour of the Intelligent Reader." When an 
author happened to be temporarily the occupant of a jail and further- 
more issuing his book surreptitiously, opportunity for proof reading 
was naturally curtailed. In Truth Rescued from Imposture, composed 
in Newgate in 1671, William Penn writes to the Courteous Reader: 
"Thou art desired to place the numerous errors of this Discourse to the 
account of difficulty in Printing any thing that comes not out with an 
Imprimatur in the front of it: But as we can't fly to the Hills, to hide 
us ; so will it be esteem'd civility in thee to excuse the Authors from 
the Mistakes ; . . ." It remained for a Peruvian printer, however, to is- 
sue, in the form of a book of 66 pages, corrections to the list of errata 
which one of his customers accused him of committing in the printing 
of an oration. The title of this curious book of Lima, 1773, was Apologia 
de la Imprenta que esta en la calle de S. Jacinto. A copy is in the John 
Carter Brown Library. For the full title, see Medina, La Imprenta en 
Lima, III. 1350. 

3. John Holt, Printer and Postmaster, by Victor Hugo Paltsits, is 
one of those admirable monographic studies of American printers which 
have been of the greatest usefulness in throwing light into the dark 
places of colonial printing history. Wall's Samuel Loudon is an inter- 
esting and important study of this group. One remembers in this con- 
nection Love's Thomas Short, Green's John Foster, Nichols's Isaiah 
Thomas, and numerous others that may be found in the general list of 
sources which precedes these notes. 

4. The fullest treatment of the whole subject of the censorship of 
the press in colonial America is found in Duniway, The Development of 
the Freedom of the Press in Massachusetts. For the Massachusetts cen- 
sorship, one must refer also to Worthington C. Ford, The Isle of Pines. 
The important episode in which Thomas Maule figured is treated, in 
such fashion as to make a fresh contribution to our knowledge of the 
liberty of the press, by Matt Bushnell Jones in Thomas Maule, the 
Salem Quaker and Free Speech in Massachusetts Bay. Rutherf urd, John 
Peter Zenger, his Trial and his Press studies exhaustively the particular 

[ 322 ] 


case implied in its title. An early discussion of the subject from the con- 
stitutional standpoint is found in A Dissertation upon the Constitu- 
tional Freedom of the Press in the United States of America. By an Im- 
partial Citizen. Boston, Printed by David Carlisle, for Joseph Nan- 
crede. The Virginia incident of the closing of the Nuthead press is dis- 
cussed in Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland. So far in 
the writing of this book I have been able to refrain from quoting the 
remark of Sir William Berkeley, royal governor of Virginia, who in a 
report to the Lords of Trade thanks his God that "there are no free 
schools nor printing [in Virginia] . . . for learning has brought dis- 
obedience, and heresy and sects into the world, and printing has di- 
vulged them . . . God keep us from both !" It seems impossible, however, 
to write on American printing without bringing in this utterance, gen- 
erally as a reflection upon the mind and heart of the old cavalier gov- 
ernor. I have always thought it a very profound observation, however, 
full of salty truth and worthy of respect as the expression of a sincerely 
held point of view. The Bradford trial is set forth fully in Keith and 
Budd, New-England's Spirit of Persecution, transmitted to Pennsil- 
vania. Isaiah Thomas, I. 211-223, quotes copious excerpts from this 
pamphlet, in which is given an account of the trial from the standpoint 
of the malcontents. The story of the peculiarly unpleasant persecution 
of Anthony Haswell is found in John Spargo's monograph on that 
printer. Rivington's case is discussed in Hildeburn, Sketches of Printers 
and Printing in Colonial New York, and in Sargent's James Rivington, 
Tory Printer. Goddard's conflict with the Baltimore mob is treated in 
Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland. 

5. Eddy, Account Books kept by Benjamin Franklin, Ledger, 1728- 
1739 \ Journal, 17 '30-17 '37 ; pages 33-35. 

6. Ibid., pages 21—29; Leigh, William Strahan and his Ledgers, 
pages 280—284. 

7. Besides the histories of printing in the various colonies, the sources 
for knowledge of the printers' prices specified in this discussion are the 
manuscript Work Book of Franklin & Hall ; Eames, Bibliographic Notes 
on Eliot's Indian Bible, pages 9 and 14; Winship, The Eliot Indian 
Tracts, pages 183-185 ; the manuscript Papers of Isaiah Thomas ; the 
manuscript Connecticut Archives, Finance and Currency, 1677—1789, 
V. 213a. A discussion of the place of printing and of the authorship of 
the Ringold tract is found in Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial 
Maryland, Maryland Imprints, No. 248m The entry quoted here from 

[ 323 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

the Franklin & Hall Work Book determines the truth of Daniel Dulany's 
contemporary assertion cited by Wroth that the Remarks upon a Message 
was printed by Franklin, and the billing of the printing job to Thomas 
Ringold, a member of the Lower House of Assembly of Maryland, at 
least gives a suggestion as to its probable authorship. One of the inter- 
esting manuscript possessions of the New York Public Library is this 
Work Book of Franklin & Hall, covering the years 1759-1766. In Books 
and Bidders, pages 135—139, A. S. W. Rosenbach has told of his dis- 
covery and purchase of this important volume, in which the record of 
the daily activity of a notable colonial printing house illumines many 
aspects of the trade in the period. Dr. Rosenbach gave me free access to 
this manuscript, and allowed me to make copious extracts from it for 
publication in this book. That privilege was courteously confirmed by 
the New York Public Library after the document came into the pos- 
session of that institution. The information with regard to the printing 
of Smith's History of New Jersey by James Parker is found in Wilber- 
force Eames's note to Sabin No. 83980. 

8. For a brief statement of compositors' wages in England in 1785, 
see Stower, The Printer s Grammar, pages 418-419. 

9. James Parker's statement of Accounts between Franklin and his 
partner, David Hall, manuscript in the Historical Society of Pennsyl- 
vania, proves to be a document that interests the historian of printing 
for many reasons not usually implicit in a financial statement. The 
conversion from currency to sterling in these years in Pennsylvania was 
normally at the rate of £170 of current money to £100 sterling. 

10. Isaiah Thomas, I. 336. 

Notes to Chapter X 

Bookbinding in Colonial America 

1. The work of the colonial binder has been discussed in brief by 
William Loring Andrews in his Bibliopegy in the United States, a 
charmingly written essay illustrated by several excellent examples of 
early bindings. The Grolier Club Catalogue of Ornamental Leather 
Bookbindings executed in America Prior to 1850 contains carefully 
described entries of some seventeen bindings before 1801, an excellent 
historical introduction, and an important list of binders found at work 
in various American cities from the earliest times. Isaiah Thomas men- 

[ 324 1 


tions the activities of many binders, in and out of the printing shop, 
and in the lists of printers at the conclusion of each volume of Evans's 
American Bibliography the binders and booksellers of the period cov- 
ered are given equal prominence with the printers. I haven't found any 
book or essay specifically dealing with colonial binding except Holmes, 
The Bookbindings of John Ratcliff and Edmund Ranger. 

2. We learn of the activities of the first professional colonial binder 
whose work is known from Littlefield, Early Boston Booksellers, 1642— 
1711, page 95, and from Ford, The Boston Book Market, 1679—1700, 
page 43, but especially from Eames, Bibliographic Notes on Eliot's In- 
dian Bible, pages 15—16, where among other matter is given the letter 
in which Ratcliff discusses the conditions of his trade, and from 
Holmes, The Bookbindings of John Ratcliff and Edmund Ranger. Ed- 
mund Ranger's activities are also recorded by Littlefield and Ford. 

3. Bishop, History of Manufacturing in the United States gives the 
facts of the tanning industry in the colonies ; see also the General Laws 
and Liberties of the Massachusetts Colony in New-England, 1675, 
pages 62—63 ; and the Representation of the Lords Commissioners for 
Trade and Plantations, of 1734. 

4. Love, Thomas Short, page 35. 

5. The details of the disbursements to Green, and Ratcliff's request 
for a greater remuneration are found in Eames, Bibliographic Notes on 
Eliot's Indian Bible ; see also Isaiah Thomas, I. 55— 56m Elizabeth 
Short's binding of the "Saybrook Platform" is commented upon in Love, 
Thomas Short ; Franklin's complicated financial dealings with Stephen 
Potts can be studied in his manuscript "Journal of Accounts" in the 
American Philosophical Society, reproduced in Eddy, Some Account 
Books kept by Benjamin Franklin ; the binding of the Mohawk Book of 
Common Prayer is referred to in the letters from Gaine to Sir William 
Johnson in Ford, Journals of Hugh Gaine, II. 217—221 ; the bill of 
Timothy Green for printing and binding the Connecticut Laws of 1784 
is in manuscript in the Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecti- 
cut Archives, Finance and Currency, 1677-1789, IV. 213a. 

6. A photographic reproduction of the binding of the second edition 
of the Bay Psalm Book, 1651, forms one of the numerous exceptionally 
good illustrations found in Andrews, Bibliopegy in the United States. 

7. Griffin's History of Keene records the dates of Thomas S. Webb's 
bindery at Keene and other facts concerning its proprietor. 

[ 325 ] 

The Colonial Printer 
Notes to Chapter XI 

The Product of the Colonial Press 
Parti. The Content 

1. The Work Book of Franklin & Hall, owned by the New York Pub- 
lic Library, has been described in note 7 of Chapter IX. Its showing of 
printed pieces is here compared to William J. Campbell's Collection of 
Franklin Imprints in the Museum of the Curtis Publishing Company, 
an excellent bibliography containing a check list of all known Frank- 
lin imprints, including all titles recorded by Evans and Hildeburn. 

2. Evans, Oaths of Allegiance in Colonial New England, discusses 
fully the whole subject implied in his title, and tells an exciting story 
of his search in the British Museum for a printed copy of the Freeman's 
Oath of Cambridge, 1639. James Franklin's advertisement of blank 
forms is found in Winship's introduction to Rhode Island Imprints, 
page 5. Hildeburn, No. 1, gives the Bradford announcement in fac- 
simile ; Franklin's traffic in blanks is found in the Bigelow edition of 
the Autobiography, page 154, and in various connections in Livingston, 
The Passy Press. The importance of the printing of blanks in the main- 
tenance of the early Maryland presses is shown in Wroth, A History of 
Printing in Colonial Maryland, pages 8—9, 13, 21, and 29. 

3. Hasse, "The First Published Proceedings of an American Legis- 
lature," an introduction to the facsimile reissue of A Journal of the 
House of Representatives of New York, 1695, tells the story of the be- 
ginnings of this important type of publication. The verse quoted is 
from Markland, Typographia, an Ode on Printing, Williamsburg, 
1730. A facsimile of the John Carter Brown Library copy, supposedly 
unique, of this earliest American contribution to the literature of print- 
ing was published in 1926, by Edward L. Stone of Roanoke, Virginia, 
with an introduction by Earl G. Swem. 

4. The recipe for improving meat that has become a bit "high" is 
found in an advertisement of An Almanack for the Year 1760, printed 
by Jonas Green of Annapolis in 1759. See Maryland Gazette, November 
29, 1759. The investigation of the political importance of the almanac 
is found in Greenough, New England Almanacs, 1766-1275, and the 
American Revolution. 

5. The sentence quoted in praise of American newspapers is from the 
anonymous Bibliotheca Americana, London, 1789, page 14. The back- 

[ 326 ] 


ground and influence of American newspaper publication has been 
treated broadly and with insight by Bernard Fay in his Notes on the 
American Press at the End of the Eighteenth Century, published by the 
Grolier Club in 1927. Doubtless the introduction to the publication in 
book form of Brigham, Bibliography of American Newspapers, which 
completed some seven years ago its serial publication in the Proceed- 
ings of the American Antiquarian Society, will cover for the entire pe- 
riod the material and spiritual aspects of the American newspaper. All- 
nutt's English Provincial Presses found its publication in Bibliograph- 
ica, II. 23-46, 150-180, 276-308. The statistics of newspaper publica- 
tion given here are from George Parker Winship's Report of the Council 
of the American Antiquarian Society (printed in the Proceedings for 
April, 1926) with emendations made necessary by the completion, since 
then, of Brigham, Bibliography of American Newspapers. 

6. This analysis of the periodical press was made possible originally 
by William Beer's Checklist of American Periodicals, 1J41-1800. After- 
wards the whole subject was fully opened to the general student by the 
Mott and Richardson works referred to in the text. 

7. Some special bibliographies that deal with the several types of 
publication mentioned here are Worthington C. Ford, Broadsides, Bal- 
lads, &c. Printed in Massachusetts, 1630-1800; [Hildeburn], The 
Charlemagne Tower Collection of American Colonial Laws ; Eldon R. 
James, A List of Legal Treatises; Nichols, Massachusetts Almanacs ; 
Morrison, Almanacs in the Library of Congress ; Brigham, An Account 
of American Almanacs ; P. L. Ford, The New England Primer; Heart- 
man, The New England Primer; Merritt, The Royal Primer; Winship, 
French Newspapers; Karpinski, The History of Arithmetic; Wegelin, 
Early American Poetry; Lincoln, Bibliography of American Cookery 
Books, 17 42-1860; Brigham, Bibliography of American Nezvspapers, 

8. Holmes, The Mather Literature, makes a striking presentation of 
the importance of the writings of the Mathers in the life of New Eng- 

9. The literary product of the colonial press, if we may judge by the 
number of separate studies issued each year, is attracting many and 
serious students. The basis of any investigation of the verse of the 
period is found in Wegelin, Early American Poetry. 

10. The importance of The German Press in Pennsylvania is set 
forth in Seidensticker's book of that title, while details and a more dis- 

[ 327 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

cursive treatment of a part of the subject are found in the works of 
Julius Friederich Sachse. 

Notes to Chapter XII 

The Product of the Colonial Press 
Part II. External Characteristics 

1. Wroth, Formats and Sizes. 

2. Chapman, Notes on Eighteenth-Century Bookbuilding, pages 166- 

3. See article referred to in note 1, above. 

4. Chapman, An Inventory of Paper, 1674. 

5. Ibid., page 402. 

6. Briquet, Les Filigranes, I. 5-6. 

7. Eddy, Account Books of Benjamin Franklin, throughout. 

8. The indispensable general books on American engraving are 
StaufTer, Early American Engravers on Copper and Steel and Fielding, 
Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. Other 
works of importance are mentioned specifically in the notes which 

9. Green, John Foster. 

10. Murdock, Portraits of Increase Mather, discusses this earliest of 
American copperplate portrait engravings. 

11. Citing Charles Harper Walsh's paper in The Records of the 
Columbia Historical Society, [Washington, D. C], XV, 1912, Stokes's 
Iconography, I. 254n, suggests 1683 as the year and New York as the 
place of publication of the Simson engraving of John Reid's Mapp of 
the Rariton River. The endorsement of the New Jersey Historical So- 
ciety copy of the map, however, seems to show that it contains plats of 
lands granted in the period 1683-1686, and the Library of Congress 
copy contains among other endorsements the unrelated figures, doubt- 
less intended as a date, "1685." It is highly probable, therefore, that 
the map was not drawn until 1686 or afterwards. The assumption by 
Mr. Walsh that it was engraved and printed in this country rests upon 
a reference to it in an agreement between the governors of East and 
West Jersey. Mr. Walsh writes as follows : "that this map was engraved 
in the Colonies is sufficiently attested in an old document, being an 

[ 328 ] 


agreement made between the then governors of East Jersey and West 
Jersey . . . signed and sealed on September 5, 1688 [to the effect that 
a certain specified boundary] shall not be altered but remain as it 
stands on a printed draught of the proprietors lands, surveyed in East 
Jersey and drawn by John Reid, and since printed here." [Italics by Mr. 
Walsh.] Unfortunately Mr. Walsh failed to observe that this agree- 
ment, published by William A. Whitehead in his Documents relating to 
the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, II. 34-36, was headed 
[italics mine] "London, Sept. 5th. 1688," so that the phrase "printed 
here" in the document cited by Mr. Walsh means, clearly enough, 
printed in London, where the conference between the two governors 
was held. In this destructive bit of criticism, I am indebted to the co- 
operation of Mr. Victor Hugo Paltsits, of the New York Public Library 
and Colonel Lawrence Martin, of the Division of Maps in the Library 
of Congress. 

12. Stauffer, I. 64, quotes "a Boston newspaper" as announcing on 
July 30, 1716, the arrival from England of Francis Dewing. I have not 
been able to verify the reference in the pages of the Boston News-Letter, 
but circumstances as related in our text make it plain that this date of 
arrival must have been approximately correct. 

13. My attention was called to the existence of this plate, which 
seems to contain the earliest Boston work of Francis Dewing, through 
the medium of a short, unpublished list, full of new material, compiled 
by Miss Clara Egli of the Division of Maps, Library of Congress, on 
"The Charts of Captain Cyprian Southack." Miss Egli says in a note 
that the chart of 1717, known only from the copy in the Public Record 
Office, was entered in the Great Britain Colonial Office Catalogue of 
Maps . . . 1910. Knowledge of it seems to have escaped historians of 
American cartography and of American engraving until Miss Egli en- 
tered it in her list. It was probably this map, or perhaps a part of it, 
which was advertised in the Boston News-Letter for June 24, 1717, 
under the following title : "Capt. Cyprian Southack's large and Correct 
Chart or MAP of all the Sea Coast in the English America, on the Conti- 
nent, viz. from Newfoundland, to Cape Florida : the like never yet 
Extant, of great Use to all, but especially to Mariners." 

14. Phillips, The Rare Map of the Northwest, 1785, by John Fitch. 

15. Wroth, An American Bookshelf, page 153, discusses the spelling 
of the name of this engraver, Hebert or Herbert, and, for reasons given, 
decides that it was Hebert, as here used. 

[ 329 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

16. Eddy, Account Books of Benjamin Franklin. 

17. The New Improved West-India Pilot, the several architectural 
books recorded in Wall, Books on Architecture Printed in America, and 
various entries in Evans show the extent of William Norman's publish- 
ing activities. 

18. Wall, Books on Architecture Printed in America, 177 5-18 30. A 
study of architectural books including those of the later period is in 
progress by Henry Russell Hitchcock, Jr., of Wesleyan University. 

19. The comment on these plates by William Loring Andrews in his 
Essay on the Portraiture of the American Revolutionary War, pages 24- 
25, is interesting: "They are not the best engravings but they are the 
most singular and original looking prints, and, besides, are of home 
manufacture, and supply us with specimens of American engravings in 
the eighteenth century which are not always to be had for the asking." 
Mr. Andrews goes further and writes as follows about the Norman 
plates, pages 26-27, quoting an irate Philadelphia critic who wrote in 
the Freeman's Journal for January 26, 1795 : "A new American history 
of the late war, says a literary correspondent, seems to be much want- 
ing ; one in which impartiality, strict truth, elegance and precision shall 
be united. Such a one cannot fail of being acceptable to every class of 
readers. The expense of copper plates, however, might be spared, unless 
they could be executed in a different stile from those in the history of 
the American War, printed at Boston in 1781 and 82. There gen Knox 
and Sam Adams, are represented more frightful than Lord Blackney on 
a London ale house sign, and gen Greene the exact resemblance of 
Jonathan wild, in the frontispiece of a two penny history. Surely such 
extraordinary figures are not intended to give the rising generation an 
improved taste in the arts of designing and sculpture." Mr. Andrews 
combines further interesting information about early American en- 
gravers and comment upon them in his Fragments of American History 
illustrated by Engravers who flourished in the XVIII Century. 

[ 33° J 

Works Referred to in Notes 

A List of Works 

Referred to in the Notes by Short Titles 

Adams, Randolph Greenfield. The Passports printed by Benjamin 
Franklin at his Passy Press. Ann Arbor, 1925 ; pages [ii] ,11. 

Adams, Thomas F. Typographia ; a brief Sketch of the Origin, Rise 
and Progress of the Typographic Art ; with practical Directions for 
conducting every Department in an Office. Philadelphia, 1837 ; [ii] , 
372, [viii]. 

Allnutt,W. H. English Provincial Presses. (In Bibliographica, II. 23— 
46, 150-180,276-308.) 

Andrews, William Loring. Bibliopegy in the United States and Kin- 
dred Subjects. New York, 1902 ; pages xxiv, 130. 
An Essay on the Portraiture of the American Revolutionary War. 
New York, 1896 ; pages xii, 101. 

Fragments of American History, illustrated solely by the works of 
those of our own Engravers who flourished in the XVIIIth Century. 
New York, 1898 ; pages xvi, 70. 

Barton, William. Memoirs of the Life of David Rittenhouse . . . Phila- 
delphia, 1813 ; pages lxxviii, 79-614. 

Bates, Albert Carlos. Connecticut Statute Laws. A Bibliographical 
List of Editions of Connecticut Laws from the Earliest Issues to 
1836. [Hartford], 1900; pages [x], 120. (Acorn Club, Third Pub- 

Beer, William. . . . Checklist of American Periodicals, 1741-1800 . . . 
Worcester, Massachusetts, 1923 ; pages 18. (Reprinted from the Pro- 
ceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, New Series, Volume 
32, Part 2, October, 1922 ; pages 330-335.) 

Bibliographical Essays. A Tribute to Wilberforce Eames. [Edited by 
George Parker Winship and Lawrence C. Wroth.] [Cambridge], 
1924 ; pages xxii, 440. 

Bibliotheca Americana ; or a Chronological Catalogue of the most 
curious and interesting Books, Pamphlets, State Papers, &c. upon the 
Subject of North and South America . . . London, 1789 ; pages [iv] , 

Bigmore, E. C, and Wyman, C. W. A Bibliography of Printing with 
Notes & Illustrations. 3 Volumes. London, 1880-1886. 

[ 333 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

•'Bishop, J. Leander. A History of American Manufactures from 1608- 
1860. 3 Volumes, Philadelphia, 1864-1866. 

Blades, William. The Pentateuch of Printing, with a Chapter on 
Judges. With a Memoir of the Author and a List of his Works, by 
Talbot B. Reed. London, 1891 ; pages xxx, 1 17. 

Brigham, Clarence Saunders. An Account of American Almanacs 
and their Value for Historical Study. Worcester, Massachusetts, 
1925; pages 25. (Reprinted from the Proceedings of the American 
Antiquarian Society, New Series, Volume 35, Part 2, October, 1925 ; 
pages 194-218.) 

1/ Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820. {In Proceedings 
of the American Antiquarian Society, New Series, Volume 23, Part 2, 
October, 1913, to Volume 37, Part 1, April, 1927.) 

Briquet, C. M. Les Filigranes. Dictionnaire historique des Marques du 
Papier . . . vers 1282 jusqu'en 1600. 4 Volumes, Paris, 1907. 

Bullen, Henry Lewis. The Bradford Family of Printers. (In The 
American Collector, January and February, 1926; pages 148-156 
and 164-170 respectively, Number 3, in series entitled Famous 
American Printers.) 

Campbell, William J. The Collection of Franklin Imprints in the Mu- 
seum of the Curtis Publishing Company. With a Short-Title Check 
List of all the Books, Pamphlets, Broadsides, &c, known to have 
been printed by Benjamin Franklin. Philadelphia, 1918; pages [x], 

Chapin, Howard Millar. Ann Franklin of Newport, Printer, 1736- 
1763. (In Bibliographical Essays. A Tribute to Wilber force Eames. 
Pages 337-344.) 

James Franklin, Jr. Newport Printer. (In The American Collector, 
Volume II, Number 3, June, 1926 ; pages 325-329.) 
Calendrier Fran^ais pour l'annee 1781 and the Printing Press of the 
French Fleet in American Waters during the Revolutionary War. 
Providence, 1914; pages 10. Contributions to Rhode Island Bibliog- 
raphy No. II. (Reprinted from The Providence Magazine, July, 

Early Rhode Island Paper Making. (In The American Collector, Vol- 
ume II, Number 2, May, 1926 ; pages 303—309.) 
More about Sea Presses. (In The American Collector, Volume III, 
Number 2, November, 1926 ; pages 86-88.) 

[ 334 ] 

Works Referred to in Notes 

Chapman, R. W. An Inventory of Paper, 1674. (In Transactions of the 
Bibliographical Society, The Library, New Series, Volume 7, Number 
4, March, 1927 ; pages 402-408.) 

Notes on Eighteenth-Century Bookbuilding. (In Transactions of the 
Bibliographical Society, The Library, Fourth Series, Volume 4, Num- 
ber 3, December, 1933 ; pages 161-180.) 

Chronicon Ephratense, see "Lamech and Agrippa." 

Clayton-Torrence, William. ... A Trial Bibliography of Colonial 
Virginia. 2 Volumes, Volume I. [1608-1754], Volume II. 1754- 
1776. Richmond, 1908-10; pages 154, 94. (A special Report of the 
Department of Bibliography in the Virginia State Library.) 

Coxe, Tench. A View of the United States of America, in a Series of 
Papers, written at Various Times, between the Years 1787 and 1794. 
Interspersed with authentic Documents . . . Philadelphia, 1794; 
pages vi, [ii], 7-14, 513. 

De Vinne, Theodore Low. The Practice of Typography. Plain Print- 
ing Types. A Treatise on the Processes of Type-making, the Point 
System, the Names, Sizes and Styles of Types. New York, 1914; 
pages 403. (First Edition, 1899.) 

Dexter, Elisabeth Anthony. Colonial Women of Affairs. A Study of 
Women in Business and the Professions in America before 1776. 
Boston and New York, 1924 ; pages xx, 204. 

The Dolphin, Number 3, A History of the Printed Book. Edited by 
Lawrence C. Wroth. New York, The Limited Editions Club, 1938. 

Duniway, Clyde Augustus. The Development of the Freedom of the 
Press in Massachusetts. (Harvard Historical Studies, Volume XII.) 
New York, 1906 ; pages xvi, 203. 

Eames, Wilberforce. The Bay Psalm Book. Being a Facsimile Reprint 
of the First Edition, Printed by Stephen Dave at Cambridge, in New 
England in 1640. With an Introduction by Wilberforce Eames. New 
York, 1903; pages xviii, 295. 

Bibliographical Essays. A Tribute to Wilberforce Eames. [Edited by 
George Parker Winship and Lawrence C. Wroth.] [Cambridge], 
1924 ; pages xxii, 440. 

Bibliographic Notes on Eliot's Indian Bible and on his other transla- 
tions and works in the Indian language of Massachusetts . . . Wash- 
ington, 1890; pages [ii], 58. Extract from Pilling's Bibliography of 
the Algonquian Languages. 

I 335 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

The First Year of Printing in New-York: May, 1693 to April, 1694. 
New York, 1928 ; pages 25. (Reprinted from the Bulletin of the New 
York Public Library for January, 1928.) 

Eddy, George Simpson. Account Books kept by Benjamin Franklin. 
Ledger, 1728-1739 ; Journal, 1730-1737. New York, 1928; pages 59. 
Same. Ledger "D." 1739-1747. New York, 1929; pages 126. 

Evans, Charles. American Bibliography. 12 Volumes, 1639-1799. 
Chicago, 1903-1934. 

Oaths of Allegiance in Colonial New England. (In Proceedings of 
the A merican A ntiquarian Society, New Series, Volume 3 1 , Part 2, Oc- 
, tober, 1921 ; pages 377-438.) 

* Fay, Bernard. Notes on the American Press at the End of the Eight- 
eenth Century. New York, The Grolier Club, 1927 ; pages 34. 

Fertel, Dominique. La Science Pratique de l'lmprimerie. St. Omer, 
1723; pages [xx], 1-294, [x] ; plates. 

Fielding, Mantle. Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and 
Engravers. Philadelphia, n.d. [c. 1926] ; pages viii, 433. 

Ford, Paul Leicester. Franklin Bibliography. A List of Books written 
by, or relating to Benjamin Franklin. Brooklyn, 1899; pages lxiv, 

The Journals of Hugh Gaine, Printer . . . Volume I, Biography and 
Bibliography. Volume II, Journals and Letters. New York, 1902; 
pages xii, 240 ; xii, 235. 

The Many-Sided Franklin. New York, 1899 ; pages xxii, 516. 
The New-England Primer, A History of its Origin and Development 
with a Reprint of the unique Copy of the earliest known Edition and 
many facsimile Illustrations and Reproductions. New York, 1897; 
pages xiv, 354. 

Ford, Worthington C. The Boston Book Market, 1697-1 700. Boston, 
1917 ; pages xii, 198. (Published by the Club of Odd Volumes.) 
Broadsides, Ballads, &c. Printed in Massachusetts, 1639-1 800. Mas- 
sachusetts Historical Society. [Boston], 1922 ; pages xvi, 483. 
The Isle of Pines 1668. An Essay in Bibliography. Boston, the Club 
of Odd Volumes, 1 920 ; pages [ xii ] , [117]. 

Franklin, Benjamin. Autobiography. (Volume I of The Writings of 
Benjamin Franklin. See next title.) 
The Writings of Benjamin Franklin. Collected and edited with a Life 

[ 336 ] 

Works Referred to in Notes 

and Introduction by Albert Henry Smyth. 12 Volumes, New York, 

Franklin & Hall, Work Book, 1759-1766. (Manuscript in New York 
Public Library.) 

Gayarre, Charles. Histoire de la Louisiane. 2 Volumes, Nouvelle- 
Orleans. 1846-1847 ; pages [iv] , XII, 377 ; VIII, 427. 

Goodwin, Rutherfoord. The Williamsburg Paper Mill of William 
Parks, the Printer. (Volume 31, Part 1, of the Papers of the Biblio- 
graphical Society of A merica. 1938.) 

Goold, William. Early Papermills of New England. (Read at a meet- 
ing of the Maine Historical Society . . . Feb. 19, 1874, and communi- 
cated to the Historic and Genealogical Register for April, 1875) ; 
pages 8. 

Granniss, Ruth Shepard. Amerikanische Sammler und Bibliotheken. 
(In Lehmann-Haupt, Das A merikanische Buchwesen, pages 25 1-338, 
translated by Carl Speth, Jr.) 

Green, Samuel Abbott. John Foster, the earliest American Engraver 
and the first Boston Printer . . . Boston, 1909 ; pages [vi] , 149. 

Greenough, Chester Noyes. New England Almanacs, 1766-1775 
and the American Revolution. (In Proceedings of the American Anti- 
quarian Society, Volume 45, New Series, Part 2, October, 1935 ; pages 

Griffin, Simon Goodell. History of the Town of Keene from 1732, 
when the Township was granted by Massachusetts to 1874, when it 
became a City . . . Keene, N. H., 1904 ; pages [vii] , 792. 

Grolier Club, New York City. Catalogue of Ornamental Leather 
Bookbindings executed in America prior to 1850. (New York, 1907) ; 
pages xvi, 107. 

Hammett, Charles E., Jr. A Contribution to the Bibliography and 
Literature of Newport, R. I. ... Newport, 1887 ; pages 185. 

Hansard, Thomas Curson. Typographia : an historical Sketch of the 
Origin and Progress of the Art of Printing . . . London, 1825 ; pages 
[xxiv],939, [xxvi]. 

Hasse, Adelaide R., editor. A Journal of the House of Representatives 
for his Majestie's Province of New York in America. Reproduced in 
facsimile from the first edition printed by William Bradford, 1695. 
New York, 1903; pages iv, 20. (Contains The First Published Pro- 

[ 337 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

ceedings of an American Legislature. By A. R. Hasse. Pages iii-iv.) 
A Narrative of an Attempt made by the French of Canada upon the 
Mohaque's Country. Reproduced in facsimile from the first edition 
printed by William Bradford, 1693 . . . New York, 1903; pages vii, 

Some Materials for a Bibliography of the Official Publications of the 
General Assembly of the Colony of New York, 1693-1775. Collected 
by A. R. Hasse. [New York, 1903] ; pages 73. (Reprinted from the 
Bulletin of the New York Public Library, February-April, 1903.) 

Hawkins, Dorothy Lawson. James Adams ; the first Printer of Dela- 
ware. (In Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Volume 
28, 1934, Part 1 ; pages 28-63.) 

Heartman, Charles Fred, compiler. The New England Primer Issued 
Prior to 1830. A Bibliographical Checklist . . . [New York], 1922; 
pages 192. (In Heartman s Historical Series, Number 15, Second is- 

Hildeburn, Charles R. A Century of Printing. The Issues of the Press 
in Pennsylvania, 1685-1784. Philadelphia, 1865-6. 2 Volumes, Vol- 
ume I, 1685-1763 ; Volume II, 1764-1784 ; pages xvi, 392, 516. 
The Charlemagne Tower Collection of American Colonial Laws. 
(Privately printed for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.) Phila- 
delphia, 1890 ; pages 298. 

Sketches of Printers and Printing in Colonial New York. New York, 
1895; pages xvi, 189. 

Holmes, Thomas J. The Bookbindings of John Ratcliff and Edmund 
Ranger, Seventeenth Century Boston Bookbinders. (In Proceedings 
of the American Antiquarian Society, New Series, Volume 38, Part 1, 
April, 1928 ; pages 31-50.) 

Increase Mather. A Bibliography of his Works. With an Introduction 
by George Parker Winship and Supplementary Material by Kenneth 
Ballard Murdock and George Francis Dow. 2 Volumes, Cleveland, 


The Mather Literature. Privately Printed for William Gwinn Math- 
er. Cleveland, 1927 ; pages viii, 65. 

Humphrey, Constance H. Check-List of New Jersey Imprints. (In 
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Volume 24, 1930, 
Parts 1 and 2 ; pages 43-149.) 

[ 338 ] 

Works Referred to in Notes 

^Hunter, Dard. The Literature of Papermaking, 1390-1800. (Chilli- 
cothe, Ohio, 1925) ; pages 48. 

Old Papermaking. (Chillicothe, Ohio), 1923; pages 112, Specimens 
of Paper, 10 leaves. 

Johnson, John. Typographia, or the Printers' Instructor. 2 Volumes, 
London, 1824; pages [xiv], xii, 610, [10] ; [viii], iv, 664, [16]. 

• Jones, Horatio Gates. Historical Sketch of the Rittenhouse Paper- 
Mill. (In The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 
XX, page 325.) 

Jones, Matt Bushnell. Bibliographical Notes on Thomas Walter's 
"Grounds and Rules of Musick Explained." (In Proceedings of the 
American Antiquarian Society for October, 1932 ; pages 14.) 
The Early Massachusetts-Bay Colony Seals. With Bibliographical 
Notes Based upon Their Use in Printing. (In Proceedings of the 
American Antiquarian Society for April, 1934 ; pages 34.) 
Some Bibliographical Notes on Cotton Mather's "The Accomplished 
Singer." (In Publications of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 
Volume XXVIII, 1933 ; pages 9.) 

Thomas Maule the Salem Quaker and Free Speech in Massachusetts 
Bay. With Bibliographical Notes. (In Essex Institute Historical Col- 
lections, Volume LXXII, Number 1, January, 1936; pages 42.) 

Karpinski, Louis Charles. The History of Arithmetic. Chicago 
[ 1925] ; pages xii, 200. 

"Lamech and Agrippa." Chronicon Ephratense ; a History of the Com- 
munity of Seventh Day Baptists at Ephrata, Lancaster County, 
Penn'a. Translated from the original German by J. Max Hark, D.D. 
Lancaster, Pa., 1899; pages xvi, 288. (The original edition in Ger- 
man was printed at Ephrata in 1786.) 

Legros, Lucien Alphonse, and Grant, John Cameron. Typograph- 
ical Printing Surfaces, the Technology and Mechanism of their 
Production . . . London and New York, 1916 ; pages xxiv, 732, [733] . 

Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut, editor and joint author. Das Ameri- 
kanische Buchwesen. Buchdruck und Buchhandel, Bibliophilie und 
Bibliothekswesen in den Vereinigten Staaten von den Anfangen bis 
zur Gegenwart. Von Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt . . . unter Mitarbeit 
von Ruth S. Granniss und Lawrence C. Wroth. Leipzig, 1937 ; pages 
xii, 386, [387-388]. 

[ 339 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Leigh, R. A. Austen. William Strahan and his Ledgers. (In The Libra- 
ry, Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, New Series, Volume 
III, Number 4, March, 1923, pages 261-287.) 

Lincoln, Waldo. Bibliography of American Cookery Books, 1742- 
1860. (In Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, New 
Series, Volume 39, Part 1, April, 1929 ; pages 85-225.) 

Littlefield, George Emery. Early Boston Booksellers, 1642-1711. 
Boston, 1900; pages 256. (Published by the Club of Odd Volumes.) 
The Early Massachusetts Press, 1638-1711. 2 Volumes, Boston, 
1907 ; pages xiv, 217 ; vii, 100. (Published by the Club of Odd Vol- 

Livingston, Luther S. Franklin and His Press at Passy . . . New York, 
The Grolier Club, 1914; pages xiv, 217. 

Love, W. DeLoss. Thomas Short, the First Printer of Connecticut. 
[Hartford] , 1901 ; pages 48. (Acorn Club, Sixth Publication.) 

Luckombe, P. The History and Art of Printing . . . London, 177 1 ; 
pages [xii],502, [iv]. (First edition, 1770.) 

McCulloch, William. William McCulloch's Additions to Thomas's 
History of Printing. (In Proceedings of the American Antiquarian 
Society, New Series, Volume 31, Part 1, April, 1921 ; pages 89-247.) 

McKerrow, Ronald B. Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Stu- 
dents. Oxford, 1927 ; pages xvi, 360. 

Notes on Bibliographical Evidence for Literary Students and Editors 
of English Works of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. (Re- 
printed from the Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, Vol- 
ume XII.) London, 1914; pages [vi], 102. 

McMurtrie, Douglas C. Antecedent Experience in Kentucky of Wil- 
liam Maxwell, Ohio's first Printer. Louisville, 1932 ; pages 1 1. 
A Bibliography of South Carolina Imprints, 1731-1740. (In The 
South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, of July, 1933, 
Volume 34, pages 1 17-137. 

The Earliest New Jersey Imprint. Newark, 1932 ; pages 14. 
Early Printing in New Orleans, 1764-1810. With a Bibliography of 
the Issues of the Louisiana Press. New Orleans, 1929 ; pages 151. 
Early Printing in Tennessee. With a Bibliography of the Issues of the 
Tennessee Press, 1793-1830. Chicago, Chicago Club of Printing 
House Craftsmen, 1933; pages [1—8], 11—141. 

[ 340 ] 

Works Referred to in Notes 

The First Decade of Printing in the Royal Province of South Caro- 
lina. (In Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, The Library, 
March, 1933 ; pages 425-452.) 

The First Printing in Florida. (In The Southern Printer for March, 
1931.) Atlanta, Georgia, 1931 ; pages [1-2], 5-18. 
The First Twelve Years of Printing in North Carolina. With a Bibli- 
ography of the North Carolina Press, 1749-1760. (In The North 
Carolina Historical Review, July, 1933 ; pages 21.) 
The First Typefounding in Mexico. London, 1927. (In Transactions 
of the Bibliographical Society, The Library, New Series, Volume III, 
Number 1, June, 1927 ; pages 1 19-122.) 
A Further Note on the New Jersey Acts of 1723. Somerville, N. J., 

1 935;P a g es 10 - 
J A History of Printing in the United States. Volume II, Middle & 
South Atlantic States. New York, 1936 ; pages xxvi, 462. 
Pioneer Printing in Michigan. Springfield, Illinois, 1933. (In The 
National Printer Journalist for October, 1932 ; pages 4.) 
Pioneer Printing in Mississippi. (In The Southern Printer for March, 
1932.) Atlanta, Georgia ; pages 3. 

Preliminary Check List of Mississippi Imprints, 1798-1810. Chi- 
cago, 1934 ; pages 53. (Printed as manuscript subject to revision.) 
The Westward Migration of the Printing Press, 1786-1836. Mainz, 
Germany, 1930 ; pages 20. 

Madan, Falconer. Early Representations of the Printing Press. (In 
Bibliographic a, I. 223-248, 499-502, and additional matter in the 
Bodleian Quarterly Record, IV. 165-167.) 

Merritt, Percival. The Royal Primer. (In Bibliographical Essays. A 
Tribute to Wilberforce Eames. Pages 35-60.) 

Moore, George Henry. . . . Historical Notes on the Introduction of 
Printing into New York, 1693 . . . New York, 1888 ; pages 18. 

»^Mores, Edward Rowe. A Dissertation upon English Typographical 
Founders and Founderies. With Appendix by John Nichols, &c. &c. 
Edited by D. B. Updike. New York, 1924 ; pages xlii, 105. (A reprint 
by the Grolier Club of the original edition of 1778. See Bigmore and 
Wyman, A Bibliography of Printing, II. 50.) 

Mori, Gustav. Der Buchdrucker Christoph Sauer in Germantown. (In 
Gutenberg-J ahrbuch, 1934; pages 224-230.) 

[ 34 1 1 

The Colonial Printer 

Morrison, Hugh Alexander. . . . Preliminary Check List of American 
Almanacs, 1639-1800. Washington, 1907; pages 160. (Publication 
of the Library of Congress.) 

Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 1741-1850. 
New York, 1930 ; pages xx, 848. (Second volume, 1850 to the present 
time, in preparation.) 

Moxon, Joseph. Moxon's Mechanick Exercises ; or The Doctrine of 
Handy- Works applied to the Art of Printing. A literal Reprint in two 
Volumes of the first Edition, published in the Year 1683, with Preface 
and Notes by Theo. L. De Vinne. One volume in two, New York, The 
Typothetae of the City of New York, 1896; pages xxiv, 196, 197- 
430. (For original edition see Bigmore and Wyman, A Bibliography 
of Printing, II. 54.) 

Murdock, Kenneth Ballard. The Portraits of Increase Mather, with 
some notes on Thomas Johnson, an English Mezzotinter. Cleveland, 
For private distribution by William Gwinn Mather, 1924 ; pages xii, 

7 1 - 

Nelson, William. Notes toward a History of the American Newspaper 
. . . New York, 1918. Volume I (all published), pages iv, 644. 
Some New Jersey Printers and Printing in the Eighteenth Century . . . 
Worcester, Massachusetts, 1911; pages 44. (Reprinted from the Pro- 
ceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, New Series, Volume 
21, Part 1, April, 1911 ; pages 15-56.) 

Nichols, Charles Lemuel. Isaiah Thomas Printer, Writer & Collec- 
tor . . . With a Bibliography of the Books printed by Isaiah Thomas. 
Boston, 1912; pages xii, 144 [145-146]. (Printed for the Club of 
Odd Volumes.) 

Justus Fox, a German Printer of the Eighteenth Century. Worcester, 
Massachusetts, 1915. (Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Amer- 
ican Antiquarian Society, New Series, Volume 25, Part 1, April, 1915 ; 
pages 55-69.) 

(New Hampshire printing.) (In Bulletin of the American Antiqua- 
rian Society, November, 1915, Number 5, and in the Proceedings of 
the same Society, New Series, Volume 25, Part 2, October, 1915; 
pages 327-330.) . . . Notes on the Almanacs of Massachusetts . . . 
Worcester, Massachusetts, 1912; pages 122. (Reprinted from the 
Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, New Series, Vol- 
ume 22, Part 1, April, 1912 ; pages 15-134.) 

[ 3-P ] 

Works Referred to in Notes 

Noyes, R. Webb. A Bibliography of Maine Imprints to 1820. Stoning- 
ton, Maine : Printed by Mrs. and Mr. R. Webb Noyes . . . 1930 ; Sup- 
plement . . . Stonington, 1934. 

O'Callaghan, Edmund Bailey. A List of Editions of the Holy Scrip- 
tures and Parts thereof, printed in America Previous to i860 . . . 
Albany, 1861 ; pages liv, [x] , 415. 

Oswald, John Clyde. Benjamin Franklin, Printer. [Garden City, New 
York], 1917 ; pages xvi, 245. 

Paltsits, Victor Hugo. John Holt, Printer and Postmaster. Some facts 
and Documents relating to his Career. (In Bulletin of the New York 
Public Library, Volume 24, Number 9, September, 1920 ; pages 483— 

Phillips, P. Lee. . . . Notes on the Life and Works of Bernard Romans. 
Deland, Florida, 1924; pages [1-15], 16-128, [129-134]. Publica- 
tions of the Florida State Historical Society, Number Two. (With 
portfolio containing Romans's Map of Florida.) 
The Rare Map of the Northwest, 1785, by John Fitch . . . with a Fac- 
simile Reproduction . . . Washington, 1916 ; pages 43. 

Pottinger, David. The History of the Printing Press. (In The Dolphin, 
Number 3, A History of the Printed Book, Chapter X.) 

Printers and Printing in Providence, 1762-1907. Prepared by a 
Committee of Providence Typographical Union Number Thirty- 
three as a Souvenir of the fiftieth Anniversary of its Institution. 
(William Carroll, Chairman.) [Providence, 1907] ; pages 212, xcviii. 

Reed, Talbot Baines. A History of the Old English Letter Foundries, 
with Notes, Historical and Bibliographical on the Rise and Progress 
of English Typography. London, 1887 ; pages xiv, 380. 

Renouard, Ph. Bibliographic des Impressions et des CEuvres de Josse 
Badius Ascensius, Imprimeur et Humaniste, 1462-1535. 3 Volumes, 
Paris, 1908; pages viii, 324, [4] ; [iv],548; [iv],531. 

Rhode Island Imprints. A List of Books, Pamphlets, Newspapers and 
Broadsides ... (By George Parker Winship, Howard M. Chapin and 
Rebecca Steere.) Providence, 1914 ; pages 88. 

Roden, Robert F. . . . The Cambridge Press, 1638-1692. A History of ^ 
the First Printing Press Established in English America, together 
with a Bibliographical List of the Issues of the Press. New York, 
1905; pages [iv], 193. 

[ 343 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Rooses, Max. Le Musee Plantin Moretus. Anvers, 1914. [next page] : 
Contenant la Vie et l'OZuvre de Christophe Plantin et de ses Suc- 
cesseurs Les Moretus ainsi que la Description du Musee et des Col- 
lections qu'il renferme. Pages [x], 41 1. 

Rosenbach, A. S. W. An American Jewish Bibliography, being A List of 
Books and Pamphlets by Jews or relating to them, printed in the 
United States from the Establishment of the Press in the Colonies 
until 1850. (Baltimore), 1926; pages xviii, 1-486. (Publications of 
the American Jewish Historical Society, Number 30.) 

Rugg, Harold Goddard. The Dresden Press. (Abstract and revision of 
a paper read before the Ticknor Club of Dartmouth College.) Pages 
[19]. (Hanover, N. H., 1920.) (In Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, 
Volume 12, pages 796-814, May, 1920.) 

Rutherfurd, Livingston. John Peter Zenger, his Press, his Trial, and 
a bibliography of Zenger imprints . . . New York, 1904; pages xiv, 

Sachse, Julius Friederich. The German Sectarians of Pennsylvania. 
A Critical and Legendary History of the Ephrata Cloister and the 
Dunkers. 2 Volumes, 1708-1742, 1742-1800; Philadelphia, 1899- 
1900 ; pages xx, 506 ; xvi, 536. 

Salley, A. S., Jr. The First Presses of South Carolina. (In Bibliograph- 
ical Society of America, Proceedings and Papers, Volume II, 1907- 
1908 ; pages 28-69.) 

Sargent, George H. James Rivington, Tory Printer. A Study of the 
Loyalist Pamphlets of the Revolution. (In The American Collector, 
Volume II, Number 3, June, 1926 ; pages 336-338.) 

ASeidensticker, Oswald. The First Century of German Printing in 
America, 1728-1830 . . . Philadelphia, 1893 ; pages [ii] , x, 254. 

Siebert, Wilbur Henry. Loyalists in East Florida, 1774-1785. 2 Vol- 
umes. Deland, 1929. (Publications of the Florida State Historical So- 
ciety, Number 9.) 

Smith, John. The Printer's Grammar : wherein are exhibited . . . Lon- 
don, 1785 ; pages [8] ,312. 

Spargo, John. Anthony Haswell, Printer-Patriot-Ballader. A biograph- 
ical Study with a Selection of his Ballads and an annotated Biblio- 
graphical List of his Imprints. Rutland, 1925 ; pages xvi, 293. 

Stauffer, David McNeely. American Engravers upon Copper and 
Steel. 2 Volumes, New York, The Grolier Club, 1907. 

[ 344 1 

Works Referred to in Notes 

Stewart, Ethelbert. A Documentary History of the early Organiza- 
tions of Printers. (In Bulletin of the Bureau of Labor, Number 61, 
U. S. Department of Commerce, pages 857-1033.) 

Stillwell, Margaret Bingham. Incunabula and Americana, 1450- 
1800, a Key to Bibliographical Study. New York, 1931 ; pages [xx], 


The Seventeenth Century. (In The Dolphin, Number 3, A History of 
the Printed Book, Chapter V.) 

Stokes, I. N. Phelps. The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498— 
1909. 6 Volumes, New York, 1915-1928. 

Stower, C. The Printer's Grammar ; or, Introduction to the Art of 
Printing : containing a concise History of the Art, with the Improve- 
ments in the Practice of Printing, for the last fifty years. London, 
1808 ; pages xviii, 530. Specimens of Printing Types, pages 48 ; illus- 

Swem, Earl G. ... A Bibliography of Virginia. Part III. The Acts and 
the Journals of the General Assembly of the Colony, 1619—1776, 
Richmond, 1919; pages 71. (In Bulletin of the Virginia State Libra- 
ry, Volume XII, Numbers 1, 2.) 

Tapley, Harriet Silvester. Salem Imprints, 1768-1825. A History 
of the first Fifty Years of Printing in Salem, Massachusetts. The 
Essex Institute, Salem, 1927 ; pages x, 512. 

Thomas, Isaiah. The Isaiah Thomas Papers. Manuscript Collection in 
the Library of the American Antiquarian Society. 

The History of Printing in America, with a Bibliography of Printers S 
and an Account of Newspapers. Second Edition. (With the Author's 
Corrections and Additions.) 2 Volumes, Albany, 1874 ; pages lxxviii, 
423; viii, 666, [ii], 47. (A reprint of the edition of 1810, edited by 
Samuel F. Haven, Nathaniel Paine, and Joel Munsell, in Archaeo- 
logia Americana. Transactions and Collections of the American Anti- 
quarian Society, Volumes 5 and 6.) 

Thwaites, Reuben Gold. The Ohio Valley Press before the War of 
1812-15. Worcester, Massachusetts, 1909. (In Proceedings of the 
American Antiquarian Society, April, 1909; pages 62.) 

Trumbull, James Hammond. List of Books Printed in Connecticut, 
1709-1800. [Hartford], 1904; pages xvi, 251. (Acorn Club, Ninth 

[ 345 ] 

The Colonial Printer 

Updike, Daniel Berkeley. Printing Types: Their History, Forms, 
and Use. A Study in Survivals. Cambridge, 1922 ; 2 Volumes, pages 
xxxii, 276 ; xx, 308 ; 2d. ed. revised, 1937 ; pages xli, 292 ; xx, 326. 

Wall, Alexander J. Samuel Loudon (1727-1813) (Merchant, Printer 
and Patriot). With some of his Letters. (Reprinted from The New 
York Historical Society, Quarterly Bulletin, October, 1922; pages 

Books on Architecture Printed in America, 1775-1830. (In Biblio- 
graphical Essays. A Tribute to Wilberforce Earries, [Cambridge, 
Massachusetts], 1924; pages 299-31 1.) 

Wallace, John Williams. The Bradford Prayer Book, 1710. Some Ac- 
count of "The Book of Common Prayer," . . . Privately printed for 
Horatio Gates Jones. 1870 ; pages 10. 

(Watson, James.) The History of the Art of Printing . . . Edinburgh, 
1713 ; pages 24, xlviii, 64. 1 folding plate. (See Bigmore and Wyman, 
A Bibliography of Printing, III. 67.) 

Weeks, Lyman Horace. A History of Paper-Manufacturing in the 
United States, 1690-1916. New York, 1916 ; pages xvi, 352. 

Weeks, Stephen B. The Press of North Carolina in the Eighteenth 
Century. With Biographical Sketches of Printers, an Account of the 
Manufacture of Paper, and a Bibliography of the Issues. Brooklyn, 
1891 ; pages 80. 

Wegelin, Oscar. Early American Poetry. A Compilation of the Titles 
of Volumes of Verse and Broadsides, Written by Writers Born or 
Residing in North America, and Issued During the Seventeenth and 
Eighteenth Centuries. New York, 1903; pages 86. Second Edition. 
New York, 1930 ; pages 240, [xiii] . 

Winship, George Parker. The Eliot Indian Tracts. (In Bibliograph- 
ical Essays. A Tribute to Wilberforce Eames. Pages 179-192.) 
. . . The New England Company of 1649 and John Eliot. Boston, 
1920; pages lxxxiv, Report [ii], 219. {Publications of the Prince 

Report of the Council. (In Proceedings of the American Antiquarian 
Society, New Series, Volume 36, Part 1, April, 1926 ; pages 3-19.) 

Winship, George Parker, and others. . . . French Newspapers in the 
United States before 1800. Chicago, [1923] ; pages [ii], 45-150. 
The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Volume XIV, 
Part 2, 1920. 

[ 346 ] 

Works Referred to in Notes 

Wroth, Lawrence C. Abel Buell of Connecticut, Silversmith, Type- 
Founder, and Engraver. [New Haven] , 1926 ; pages [x] , 88. (Acorn 
Club, Fifteenth Publication.) 

An American Bookshelf, 1755. Philadelphia, 1934; pages x, 191. 
(Publications of the Rosenbach Fellowship in Bibliographv, Number 

Das Amerikanische Buchgewerbe von den Anfangen bis zum Biirger- 
krieg. (In Lehmann-Haupt, Das Amerikanische Buchzvesen, pages 
3-103, translated by Carl Speth, Jr.) 

The Dolphin, Number 3. A History of the Printed Book, edited by 
Lawrence C. Wroth. New York, The Limited Editions Club, 1938. 
The First Work with American Types. (In Bibliographical Essays. 
A Tribute to Wilberforce Eames. Pages 129-142.) 
Formats and Sizes. (In The Dolphin, Number 1. New York, The Lim- 
ited Editions Club, 1933 ; pages 81-95.) 

A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland, 1686-1776. Published 
by the Typothetae of Baltimore. (Baltimore), 1922 ; pages xvi, 275. 
A Maryland Proclamation of 1737. (In New York Herald Tribune 
Books, Sunday, October 31, 1926.) 

North America (English-Speaking). (In Peddie, R. A., Printing. A 
Short History of the Art, London, 1927 ; pages 319-373.) 
The Origins of Typefounding in North and South America. (In Ars 
Typographica, II. Number 4, April, 1926.) 

The St. Mary's City Press. A New Chronology of American Printing. 
{The Colophon'. New Series, Volume I, Number 3, Winter, 1936; 
pages 333-357-) 

William Goddard and some of his Friends. (In The Rhode Island 
Historical Society Collections, Volume 17, Number 2, April, 1924; 
pages 33-46.) 

William Parks, Printer and Journalist of England and Colonial 
America. With a List of the Issues of his Several Presses and a Fac- 
simile of the Earliest Virginia Imprint Known to be in existence. 
Richmond, 1926; pages 70. (William Parks Club Publications, Ed- 
ited by Earl Gregg Swem. Number 3.) 

Z., A. A Narrative of the Newspapers Printed in New England. (In Col- 
lections of the Massachusetts Historical Society for the Year MDCC- 
XCVIII. Boston, 1798; pages 208-216.) 

[ 347 ] 



Abreu, Ramon, 15. 

An Abstract of Geminiani's Art of Play- 
ing on the Violin, 249. 

An Act [of Connecticut] for Making 
and Emitting Bills of Publick Credit 
(1709), 21, 59. 

An Act [of Georgia] to prevent Steal- 
ing of Horses and neat Cattle, 49, 

An Act passed at the First Session of the 

Fourth Congress . . . Seventh of De- 
cember, 1795, 58-59. 

Acts and Laws of Connecticut ( 1 702), 

Acts and Ordinances . . . of the Terri- 
tory . . . South of the River Ohio, 


[Acts of Assembly of Virginia, May, 
^75o], 42. 

Acts of the Pennsylvania Assembly 
(1782), 107. 

Adams, James, 15, 37—38, 59. 

Adams, James Truslow, Provincial So- 
ciety, 10. 

Adams, Randolph G., Political Ideas of 
the American Revolution, 254. 

The Address of the Representatives in 
Maryland, 40. 

Advertisement concerning Advertise- 
ments, 235—236. 

Advertisements, separately printed, 219, 
223, 250—25 1. 

Advertising, Growth of, 235—236. 

Aitken, Robert, 84, 212, 238. 

Aitken Bible (1781-82), 211-212. 

Allardice, Samuel, 294. 

Allen, John, 247. 

Allnutt, W. H., English Provincial 
Presses, 231. 

Almanacs, 216, 228—230; The Ameri- 
can Ephemeris and Nautical Alma- 
nac, 228; Ames, Nathaniel, An As- 
tronomical Diary, or an Almanack, 
for jjs7 (Portsmouth, New Hamp- 
shire), 24, 59, 230; see also under 
Ames, Nathaniel; Bickerstaff's Bos- 
ton Almanack for 1760, 249; Fox, 

Thomas, The Wilmington Almanack 
for 1762 (Wilmington, Delaware), 
3 7—38, 59; The Hagerstoivn Alma- 
nac, 228; Kentucke Almanack for 
1788, 57, 59; Peirce, William, Al- 
manack for the Year 1639 (Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts), 16; Poor 
Richard's Almanack, 228—230; Poor 
Robin, The Rhode Island Almanack 
for the year 1728 (Newport, Rhode 
Island), 22, 230; Weatherwise, Ab- 
raham, Almanack for 1787 (Port- 
land, Maine), 28, 230; The World 
Almanac, 228. 

The American Ephemeris and Nautical 
Almanac, 228. 

The American Apollo, 84. 

The American Magazine (Andrew 
Bradford), 237. 

The American Magazine (William 
Bradford, the younger), 238. 

The American Magazine (S. & J. Lou-" 
don), 238. 

The American Magazine and Histori- 
cal Chronicle, 237. 

The American Museum, 93, 11 o, 238. 

The American Philosophical Society, 
149; Transactions, 150. 

The American Weekly Mercury, 31, 
60, 1 30, 1 60, 1 89. 

Ames, Nathaniel, 230; An Astronomi- 
cal Diary, or an Almanack, for 1757 
(Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 24, 
59; the same (Boston, 1729), 137; 
(Boston, 1730), 137—138. 

Andrews family, type founders, 87. 

Andrews, Ebenezer T., 163, 166. 

Annapolis, Maryland, 15, 17, 41-42, 
45—46, 120— 121, 158, 189—190, 193, 
208, 214, 253. 

Anno Quinto Georgii II ... At a Coun- 
cil [South Carolina] . . . Tuesday 
October 19, 7757,45, 59. 

Anno Regni, etc. The 10th April 1694 
[1693]. An Act [of New York] for 
raising six Thousand Pound, 32-33, 

[ 351 ] 


Apprentices, 154 — 168; articles of ap- 
prenticeship, 155; condition of ap- 
prentices, 159—160; Orphan Jury, 
157; runaways, 160-161; limita- 
tion of, 1 57, 166. 

Archer, J., Every Man his Own Doctor 
(London, 1673), 242. 

Armbruester, Anthony, 1 16-1 17, 261 ; 
Armbruester, Mrs. Anthony, 155. 

Arscot, Alexander, Some Considerations 
. . . of the Christian Religion, 180, 

Assemblies, Colonial, Acts, 57-59; 
Votes and Proceedings, 30. 

Association Library Company [of 
Philadelphia], 218. 

Atkins, Samuel, 30. 

Augusta, Maine, 29, 55. 

Bache, Benjamin Franklin, 102, 1 1 1- 

Bacon, Anthony, 170. 

Badius Ascensius, i.e. Josse Bade, 71. 

Bahama Gazette, 5 2 . 

Bahama Islands, 52. 

Bailey, Francis, 107—108. 

Baine, John, 109 -112; Baine, John & 
Co. (Philadelphia), 1 09-1 n, 113. 

Baine, John, and Grandson in Co. (Ed- 
inburgh), 109, 294. 

Baker, Thomas Buchanan, 221. 

Ballads, 247—250. 

Ballau, Jonathan, 142. 

Ballstock, 63. 

Baltimore, Maryland, 15, 23, 41—42, 

Banneker, Benjamin, 230. 

Barclay, Andrew, 2 1 2—2 1 3. 

Baskerville, John, 125. 

Bay, Jacob, 104 — 108, no. 

Bay Psalm Book, see The Whole Booke 
of Psalmes. 

Bayard, Nicholas, Narrative of an at- 
tempt upon the Mohaques Country, 

Bayley, Daniel, 248. 
Beer, William, Checklist of American 

Periodicals, 238. 
Beissel, Conrad, Urstdndliche und Er- 

fahrungsvolle Hohe Zeugnilsze, 262. 

Belcher, Jonathan, 139. 

Bell, Robert, 30, 84, 149 — 1 50. 

Bellamy, William, 136. 

Berry, Mr., 84. 

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 210—21 1 ; see 
also Ephrata Cloister. 

Bible, see Eliot Indian Bible, Sower 
German Bible, Douay Bible. 

Das Biblia, see Sower German Bible. 

Bickerstaff's Boston Almanack, 249. 

Bigmore, Edward C, and Wyman, 
Charles W. H., A Bibliography of 
Printing, cited, 109. 

Bill in the Chancery of Nezv-Jersey, 

Billings,'Willia.m, Nevj-England Psalm- 
Singer, 249. 

Binny, Archibald, 108, 113; see also 
Binny & Ronaldson. 

Binny & Ronaldson, 113. 

Birch & Son, W., Views of Philadel- 
phia, 290. 

Birmingham, England, 13. 

Biscoe, Robert, The Merc/tant's Maga- 
zine, 243. 

Bacon, Thomas, Laws of Maryland at 
Large, 68, 83, 170, 214, 267, 271- 
272, 275—276, 290. 

Bladen, William, 226. 

Blaeu press, i.e. press of Willem Jans- 
zoon Blaeu, 69—78, 80, 86. 

Bland, Richard, 189—190. 

Blank forms, 181—182, 218—226. 

Blanket, 63. 

Blodget, Samuel, A Prospective Plan 
of the Battle fought near Lake 
George, 288. 

Der Blutige Schau-Platz, 68, 132, 211, 
259, 261. 

Boden, Nicholas, 84. 

Boards, Binders', 195—196, 198. 

The Boke of Justices of Peas, 240. 

Bonner, John, Town of Boston in New 
England, 285. 

Book decoration, 277-279; see also 

Book design, 277—279. 

Book of Common Prayer, Mohawk 
(1769), 97-98, 171, 201, 209—210. 

[ 352 ] 


The Book of General Lauues and Lib- 
eries (1648), 271. 

The Book of the Laws of New-Pli- 
mouth (1672), 271. 

Books in colonial households, 10 — 11. 

Bookbinding, 19 1-2 14; a function of 
the printer, 191 — 192; a separate 
trade, 192-194; women in, 191- 
192, 200-201; itinerancy in, 193- 
194; materials of, 195, 198—200; 
leather, 195—197 ; boards, 195, 198- 
200; thread, 195; tools, 195, 204— 
205; in Mexico, 197; remuneration 
and charges, 200—201 ; paper covers, 
202—203; character of, 202—203; 
decoration in, 203—205 ; use of gold 
in, 203, 205, 208—209, 21 1-2 1 2 ; ex- 
ceptional examples, 204—212; bind- 
ers' trade cards, 212-213; typical 
bindings, 213-214; artistic spirit in, 
214; see also under names of colo- 

Boston, 13, 15, 18—20, 22—24, 4°> 66, 
84, 111, 121, 166, 187, 193, 205, 
224, 238, 285. 

Boston Chronicle, 249. 

The Boston News-Letter, or The Bos- 
ton Weekly News-Letter, 19, 60, 232. 

The Boston Weekly Magazine, 237. 

Boudousquie, Antoine, 51. 

Boyd, John, see Scull & Boyd. 

Boyd, Robert, 132. 

Bradford, Andrew, 30—31, 34, 45, 60, 
160, 188, 237, 262. 

Bradford, Cornelia, 31. 

Bradford, Fielding, 15, 57, 59—60. 

Bradford, John, 15, 56—57, 59—60. 

Bradford, William (d. 1752), 15, 29— 
36, 38, 59 -6 °> 126-130, 151, 157- 
158, 174, 188, 190, 199, 203, 225, 
227, 243, 253. 

Bradford, William (d. 1791), 34. 

Bradford family, 30, 33, 188. 

Bradstreet, Anne, Several Poems, 258; 
Tenth Muse lately sprung up in 
America, 258. 

Braud, Denis, 15, 50—51, 59. 

Brissot de Warville, Jean Pierre, 148. 

Bruce, Philip Alexander, Institutional 
History of Virginia, 1 o. 

Buchanan, John, 222. 

Buckner, John, 38. 

Buell, Abel, type founder, 83, 95, 98- 

103, 106, 184, 290; specimens, 98— 

99; Chart of Saybrook Bar, 288; 

Map of the United States, 288. 
Burbank, Abijah, 140. 
Burkloe & Mears, 84. 
Burlington, New Jersey, 34—36, 183. 
Burn, Richard, An Abridgement of 

Bum's Justice of the Peace, 213, 

241 ; Le Juge a Paix, 241. 
Burroughs, Eden, A Sincere Regard to 

Righteousness and Piety, 26. 
Byrd, William, 1 1. 

California, first printing, 15. 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 13—18, 20, 

40-41, 59, 66, 91, 92-95, i54-i55> 

i93> !97> 207, 224, 258, 277. 
Cambridge Platform, see A Platform of 

Church Discipline. 
Camm, John, 189 — 190. 
Campbell, John, 19, 60. 
Campbell, William J., The Collection 

of Franklin Imprints in the Curtis 

Publishing Company, 2 1 6—2 18,222— 

Carey, Matthew, 85,93, 108, 1 10— 1 1 1, 

120, 238. 
Carpenter, Samuel, 126-127. 
Carter, John, 23, 188. 
Carter, Landon, 189. 
Case, Type, 63. 
Case of the Inhabitants of East Florida, 

54, 59- 
Caslon, William, type, 66, 88—90; use 

of, in America, 83, 88—89, 265, 272, 

Cash, Caleb, 218. 
A Catechism of Nature for Children, 

Catesby, Mark, The Natural History 

of Carolina, 201, 265. 
Cato Major (Philadelphia, 1 744) , 259, 

Censorship of press, 19, 38-39, 173- 

The Centinel of the N or t/i-We stern 

Territory, 58, 60. 

[ 353 ] 


Chalmers, George, 52. 

Chapbooks, 213, 245-247. 

Chapman, R. W., 270. 

Charges for printing work, 178-186; 

compared to English charges, 1 85— 

Charleston, South Carolina, 15, 43-48, 

52, 59, 121, 238. 
C/iarlestown, South-Carolina [ 1 7 3 1 ] , 

(broadside), 45. 
The Charter of the City of New York 

(New York, 1735), 202. 
The Charter of William and Mary 

College, 208. 
Chase, Printer's, 63. 
Chase, Samuel, 190. 
Chattin, James, 220. 
Chauncy, Charles, 99, 101. 
Checkley, John, 175. 
The Cheshire Advertiser, 145. 
Chesterfield's Letters, 201. 
The Child's New S felling-Book, 37- 

The Christian History, 237. 
Chronicon Ephratense,see "Lamech and 

Church, Benjamin, 291. 
Church, Thomas, The entertaining His- 
tory of King Philip's War, 291. 
Churchill, John, 291. 
Cincinnati, Ohio, 15, 58-59. 
Clampffer, William, 219. 
Clarendon, Edward, The History of 

the Rebellion, 265. 
Classon, Nicholas, 160. 
Clergy in Maryland and in Virginia, 

Clymer, George, 86. 
Colden, Cadwallader, The History of 

the Five Indian Nations, 256. 
A Collection of all the Acts of Virginia 

(Williamsburg, 1 733), 68, 227—228, 

271, 275. 
A Collection of all the Laws of Penn- 
sylvania (1742), 271. 
A Collection of the Governor's Several 

Speeches (Annapolis, 1739), 199. 
College of Philadelphia, 219. 
Collins, Isaac, 34, 60. 

Columbian Iron Press, 86. 

The Columbian Magazine, 238. 

Common press, 70—82. 

Company of Printers of Philadelphia, 

A Compendious System, of Anatomy, 

Compendiums, 242. 

The Compleat Housewife, 244. 

The Compleat Laws of Maryland, 199, 

The Complete Letter Writer, 243. 

Composing stick, 63. 

Composition, Wages for, 161 — 162. 

Conductor Generalis, 241. 

A Confession of Faith, New London 
[1710], 21, 200, 252. 

Connecticut, 17, 66, 230; first printing, 
15, 20—21, 59—60; first newspaper, 
21,60; priority in type founding and 
in press building, 83 ; type founding, 
83, 98 — 102; flax culture, 196; pa- 
per making, 139—140, 152; charges 
for printing work, 184; bookbind- 
ing, 196—197, 200—202. 

The Connecticut Courant, 140. 

The Connecticut Gazette, 21, 60. 

Conny, John, 284. 

Constitutional Convention, 30. 

Continental Congress, 30. 

Cook-books, 244. 

Cooke, Ebenezer, The Sotweed Factor, 
259; The Maryland Muse, 259; The 
History of Bacon's Rebellion, 259; 
The Sotweed Redivivus, 259. 

Cooper & Co., Jacob, 220—221. 

Copperplate printing press, 35, 50, 

Corporation for Propagating the Gos- 
pel in New England, 17, 62, 91, 179. 

Cost of Living, in 1754 and in 1937, 

Cotton, John, 7, 20. 

Courier de Boston, 239. 

Coxe, John, 219—220. 

Cradock, Thomas, A New Version of 
the Psalms of David, 170. 

Crukshank, Joseph, 149. 

Cultural conditions in the Colonies, 
4-1 1. 

[ 354 ] 


Cultural differences, Geographical, 

Cumberland Gazette (Maine), 27-28. 
Currency, Colonial, 284—285, 290; 

values, 67, 1 78—187. 

Davenport, Mr., 82. 

Davies, William, 193. 

Davis, James, 15, 48, 59, 60. 

Davis, John, 287. 

Dawkins, Henry, 248. 

Daye, Stephen, 15-16, 59, 294; his 
printing press, so-called, 77, 192. 

\_The Dealer's Pocket Companion], 
42, 243. 

Declaration of Reasons and Motives for 
the Present Appearing in Arms in 
Maryland, 40. 

Declaration of certain former Passages 
. . . betwixt the English and the Nar- 
rowgansets, 20, 256. 

Deering, Henry, 137. 

Delaware, 30; first printing, 15, 37- 
38, 59-60; first newspaper, 38, 60; 
paper making, 152. 

The Delaware Gazette, 38, 60. 

Detroit, Michigan, 15, 58—59. 

Devine, Magdalene, 220. 

De Wees, Gerard, 148. 

De Wees, William, 129, 148. 

De Wees, William, Jr., 148. 

Dickinson, John, 218, 222. 

Didot, Francois Ambroise, m. 

Dobson, Thomas, iio-iii, 291 — 294. 

Dongan, Thomas, governor, 1 74. 

Doolittle, Amos, 288, 290. 

Doolittle, Isaac, 83—84. 

Dorsett, James, 133. 

Douay Bible, no. 

Douglass, William, Summary, Histor- 
ical and Political, of the first Plant- 
ing . . . in North- America, 257. 

Dover, New Hampshire, 241. 

Dresden, New Hampshire, see Hanover, 
New Hampshire. 

Dresden, Vermont, see Hanover, New 

Duclot, Louis, 51, 60. 

Dulany, Daniel, the Elder, 1 89. 

Dumbleton, J., pseud., 147. 

Duniway, C. A., The Development of 
the Freedom of the Press in Massa- 
chusetts, 176. 

Dunlap, John, 30, 108, 133, 149, 242. 

"Dutch Gilt" paper, 202. 

Dutch paper, 74, 122-123. 

Dutch press, see Blaeu press. 

Dutch type in England and America, 
74, 87-88, 112-113, 161. 

Eames, Wilberforce, cited, 32, 199. 

East Florida, see Florida. 

East Florida Gazette, 52, 60. 

Eckerlin, Israel, 262. 

Economic forces, 4—5. 

Edes, Peter, 28-29, 55> 77- 

Edes, Richard Walker, 55. 

Edes & Gill, 99. 

Eddy, George Simpson, editor, see 
Franklin, Benjamin, Account Books. 

Egmont, Earl of, see Perceval, John. 

Eliot, Benjamin, 281. 

Eliot Indian Bible, 17, 62, 68, 91, 179, 
192, 197—198, 200—201, 204—205, 

Eliot Indian Tracts, 19, 179. 

Eliot, John, 284; Christian Common- 
wealth, 175. 

Elliot, Obadiah, 221. 

Elizabeth, New Jersey, 130. 

Elkridge Landing, Maryland, 133. 

Ellis, Evan, The Advice of ... to his 
Daughter when at Sea, 37—38. 

Emmes, Thomas, 284, 288. 

Encyclopaedia Britannica (first Amer- 
ican edition), 110, 291—294. 

England, printing, see Great Britain, 

Engraving, see Illustration of books. 

Ephrata Cloister, 30, 77, 117, 132- 
133, 210—21 1, 259—262. 

Equipment of printing houses,^^ Print- 
ing Shop, equipment. 

Errors in Printing, 171. 

Espinosa, Antonio de, 96, 282. 

An Essay on Currency (1734), 47. 

Esthetic quality in colonial printing, 

Evans, Charles, American Bibliogra- 
phy, 215-217, 294. 

[ 355 1 


Evans, Lewis, Geographical Essays, 
288; Map of the Middle British 
Colonies, 288. 

Every Man his own Lawyer, 24.2-243. 

Every Man his own Priest, 243. 

Extrait de la Lettre du Roi a M. Dab- 
badie, 50, 59. 

Fairhaven, Vermont, 140. 

Falgate, Israel, The Dealer's Compan- 
ion, 243. 

Falmouth, Maine, see Portland, Maine. 

Falmouth, February 2, ij8$ (broad- 
side), 28, 59. 

Falmouth Gazette, 27—28, 60. 

Faneuil, Benjamin, 137. 

Fayetteville Gazette, 84. 

Fenning, Daniel, Universal Spelling 
Book, 28. 

Ferguson, Robert, 15, 57, 59—60. 

Filson, John, History of Kentucke, 
2895 Map of Kentucke, 288-289. 

Fisher, George, The American Instruc- 
tor, 243—244. 

Fisher, Joshua, Chart of Delaware Bay, 

Fishkill, 131. 

Fitch, John, Map of the Northwest 
Part of the United States, 286. 

Fitzherbert, Sir Anthony, Newe Boke 
of Justices of the Peas, 240. 

Flax Culture, 1 16— 1 17, 150, 196, 218, 

Fleeming, John, see Mein & Fleeming. 

Fleeson, Plunket, 221. 

Fleet, Thomas, 121. 

Fletcher, Benjamin, governor, 33—34. 

Florida, 131; first printing, 15, 51—55, 
59-60; first newspaper, 52—53, 60. 

Ford, Worthington C, The Boston 
Book Market, Broadsides, Ballads, 
&c. Printed in Massachusetts, 215, 
224, 245. 

Format, 269, 272-277. 

Fort Duquesne, 56. 

Fort Hill, Mississippi, 15, 55, 59. 

Foster, John, 15, 18—19, 258, 283-284, 

Fournier, Simon Pierre[?], 112. 

Fowle, Daniel, 15, 23, 59—60, 175; A 
Total Eclipse of Liberty, 23; An 
Appendix to the Late Total Eclipse 
of Liberty, 23; see also Rogers & 

Fowle, Robert, 25. 

Fowle, Zachariah, 66. 

Fox, Justus, 104—108, 1 10, 120. 

Fox, Thomas, The Wilmington Alma- 
nack for 1762 (Wilmington, Dela- 
ware, 1761), 37-38, 59. 

Frames for type cases, 63. 

Frame, Richard, Short Description of 
Pennsilvania, 127. 

Franklin, Ann, 22—23, I 5+~ ' 5 5- 

Franklin, Benjamin, 22, 30-31, 35, 
44-46, 62-63, 65-66, 75, 82, 90, 
156, 158, 169, 188, 236-237, 242- 
244-, 255> 259, 2 7i, 275; makes 
copperplate press, 35; suggests im- 
provement in printing press, 78-79; 
interest in type founding, 97, 101- 
102, 1 1 1 — 1 1 2 ; in printing ink, 1 1 5— 
117, 120— 121; in paper making, 
122, 1*5, 134, 148, 150; wage scale, 
159, 162, 164, 180—183; charges 
for printing work, 180—182, 184; 
profits, 182, 184—185; partnerships, 
46, 65, 186; bookbinding, 197, 199, 
201, 210; founder of the American 
periodical, 237 ; Account Books, 120, 
134, 151, 274; Account of the New 
Invented Pennsylvanian Fire-Places, 
287; Autobiography, 22, 46, 155, 
161, 225, 237, 246, 285. 

Franklin, James, 15, 22, 59—60, 77, 
175) 224, 246. 

Franklin, James, Jr., 22, 121. 

Franklin, John, 22. 

Franklin Typographical Society, 162, 

Franklin & Hall, 37, 62, 67, 121, 151, 
178, 182, 186, 216—218, 222; see 
also Work Book of Franklin & Hall. 

Franklin & Foxcroft, 219. 

Freedom of the Press, see Censorship of 
the Press. 

The Freeman's Journal, 108. 

Freeman's Oath, 16, 59, 192, 200, 207, 

[ 356 ] 


French printing and publishing, 50—5 1 , 

French types, 1 1 1— 1 12. 
Fry, Richard, 139, 149. 

Gaine, Hugh, 98, 129-131, 137, i47> 
149, 151, 160, 188, 201, 209—210, 

Gale, Benjamin, 98, 101. 

Gale, Samuel, Essay II, On the Nature 
and Principles of Public Credit, 5 3— 


Galley, 63-64. 

Galloway, Joseph, 221—222. 

The Gazette of the State of Georgia, 
49 ; see also The Georgia Gazette. 

Gazette of the State of South Carolina, 

Geistliches B lumen-Gar tlein Inniger 
Seelen, 263. 

Ein Geistliches Magazien, 1 04. 

General Court, Massachusetts, see Mas- 
sachusetts General Court. 

The General Magazine, 237. 

"A Gentleman of Virginia," Poems on 
Several Occasions, 259. 

Geographical influences, 4—5, 258—259. 

Georgia, first printing, 14-15, 48-49, 
59—60; first newspaper, 49, 60. 

The Georgia Gazette, 49, 60. 

German printing and publishing, 239, 

German type, 95, 103—104. 

Germantown, Pennsylvania, press build- 
ing, 82; type founding, 103 — 105; 
ink making, 117, 120; paper mak- 
ing, 124, 127-129. 

Das Ges'dng der einsamen und verlas- 
senen Turtel-Taube, 263. 

Glasgow, 89, 109. 

Glover, Jose, 16, 66. 

Glover, Mrs. Jose, 16, 41, 154-155. 

Goddard, Mary Katherine, 23, 133, 

Goddard, Sarah Updike, 22—23, x 55* 
Goddard, William, 22—23, 3°> 4 2 > 83— 
84) 1 33> x 3 6 > !40, 142) i5 8 > l6 °, 
177, 188, 225, 235, 280. 
Goldschmidt, E. Ph., Gothic and Ren- 
aissance Bookbindings, 94. 

Gooch, Governor Sir William, 134; A 

Charge to the Grand Jury, 42—43. 
Goodwin, Rutherfoord, cited, 135. 
Gookin, Daniel, 175. 
Government work, 13, 190, 226—228. 
Great Britain, printing, 12—13, 74—76, 

Greek type, 94—95. 
Green, Anne Catharine, 62, 66, 154, 

i 72, 290. 
Green, Bartholomew, 19—20, 137—138, 

247, 281. 
Green, J., & Russell, J., 94—95. 
Green, Jonas (d. 1767), 68, 82—83, 94, 

115 — 116, 119, 121, 122, 158 — 159, 

169—170, 173, 199, 214, 268, 271. 
Green, Jonas (d. 1845), l 7- 
Green, Ralph, 73, 77, 297 et seq. 
Green, Samuel, the Elder (d. 1702), 

17, 20—21, 62, 94, 179—180, 192, 

197, 200, 246. 
Green, Samuel, the Second (d. 1690), 

Green, Samuel (d. 1799), 100. 
Green, Thomas, 100. 
Green, Timothy (d. 1757), 21. 
Green, Timothy (d. 1796), 15, 27,60, 

100, 184, 202. 
Green family, printers, 17—18,21, 188. 
Greenleaf, Thomas, Laws of the State 

of Neiv York, 1 12— 1 13. 
Grew, Theophilus, 230. 
Guettard, Jean Etienne, 150— 151. 
Gilldene A epjfel in Silbern Schalen, 263. 

The Hagerstown Almanac, 228. 

Hall, David, 30, 186; see also Frank- 
lin & Hall. 

Hall, Joseph, 15, 56. 

Hall, Samuel, 22, 239. 

Hamilton, John, 85. 

Hammett, John, Vindication and Rela- 
tion, 22, 59. 

Hancock, Thomas, 137. 

Handbill, see Advertising. 

Hanover, New Hampshire, 15, 25-27. 

Harris, Benjamin, 19. 

Harris, Francis, 221. 

Hartford, Connecticut, 21, 84, 140. 

Harvard College, 16, 18, 95. 

[ 357 1 


Hassclbach, Nicholas, 15, 41. 

Haswell, Anthony, 177. 

Hawkesworth, John, A new Voyage 
[0/ Captain Cook] round the World, 
29 1 . 

Hawkins Court House, see Rogersville, 

Hazlitt, William, Discourse on the 
Apostle Paul's Mystery of Godliness, 

Hebert, Lawrence, 287—288. 

Hebrew type, 94-95. 

Hempstead, New York, 130. 

Henchman, Daniel, 137, 281. 

Henderson, Jacob, 189. 

Herbert, Lawrence, see Hebert, Law- 

Hereford, England, 42. 

Hildeburn, Charles, Issues of the Press 
in Pennsylvania, 217. 

Hill, Samuel, 291. 

Hillsboro, North Carolina, 136. 

Historiography, American, 255—257. 

Holdsworth, Edward, Muscipula, 94, 
208, 259, 281. 

Holland, influence on English printing, 
73— 75> 87> n8, 122. 

Hollis, Thomas, 95. 

Holme, John, True Relation of Penn- 
sylvania, 127. 

Holmes, Thomas J., The Bookbindings 
of John Ratcliff and Edmund Rang- 
er, 204, 206—207. 

Holt, John, 62, 66, 132, 172. 

Hopkinson, Francis, 93; Liberty Song, 

Hose, of printing press, 71 — 77. 

Hours of labor, 161 — 162, 168. 

Household compends, 244. 

Howard of Effingham, Lord Francis, 


Hubbard, William, A Narrative of the 
Troubles with the Indians in New- 
England, 18—19, 204, 256, 283—284. 

Humphreys, Daniel, 149 ; see also Story 
& Humphreys. 

Hunter, Dard, Old Papermaking, cited, 
124, 129. 

Hunter, William, 43, 67. 

Huntington, Henry E., Library, early 

binding in, 204. 
Hutchinson, Thomas, Governor of 

Massachusetts, 213. 
Hymn books, 247—250; German, 263. 
Hyndshaw, John, 193. 

Ideas, Development of, in the Colonies, 
4-1 1, 257-259. 

Illustration of books, 74, 283—295. 

Impartial History of the War, 291. 

The Impenetrable Secret, 106. 

Imposing stone, 63. 

Indentured servants, 156. 

The Independent Whig, 236. 

Indian Treaties, 254, 271, 275. 

Influence of printers, 187 — 190. 

Ink, see Printing ink. 

Inns of Court, 9. 

Instructions sur la maniere de former 
& de dresser les Proces Civil s, &c, 

Intellectual conditions, 6—9. 

International Typographical Union, 

Inventories, see Printing shop, equip- 

Ireland, 109. 

Iron press, 77, 86. 

James, Eldon R., A List of legal Trea- 
tises . . . before 180 1, 241. 

James family, type founders, 87. 

Jamestown, Virginia, 15, 38. 

Jansen, Reinier, 30, 129. 

Jefferson, Thomas, 190. 

Jenkins, Nathaniel, 116. 

John, of London, ship, 16. 

John Hammett's Vindication, see Ham- 
mett, John, Vindication and Relation. 

Johnson, John, Typographic, or Print- 
ers' Instructor, cited, 73, 76—77. 

Johnson, Joseph, 193. 

Johnson, Marmaduke, 15, 17 — 18, 66, 
94, 179, 283. 

Johnson, Moses, 145. 

Johnson, Samuel, 202 ; Dictionary . . . , 

Johnson, Sir William, 201, 209—210, 


[ 358 ] 


Johnston, James, 14—15,49,59-60. 

Johnston, Thomas, 288. 

Jones, Matt Bushnell, cited, 176. 

Journal of the House of Burgesses [0/ 
North Carolina] September 26— Oc- 
tober 18, 1749, 48, 59. 

Journalism, see Newspapers. 

Journeymen, 1 54— 168 ; restlessness, 1 5 9 ; 
scarcity, 159; wages, 159, 162, 181; 
character, 159—160. 

Justice of the Peace handbooks, 241. 

Kalendarium Pennsilvaniense, 29—30, 

40, 59- 

Karpinski, Louis C, 210. 

Keene, New Hampshire, 140, 213—214. 

Keimer, Samuel, 35-36, 45, 97, 115, 
156, 236. 

Keith, George, 31—33, 174; An Appeal 
from the twenty-eight Judges to the 
Spirit of Truth, 3 1 . 

Keith, Sir William, 65. 

Kentucke Almanack for 1788, 57, 59. 

Kentucke Gazette, 57, 60. 

Kentucky, first printing, 15, 56, 59— 
60; paper making, 152; first news- 
paper, 57, 60. 

Killen, Jacob A., 38, 60. 

Killingworth, Connecticut, type found- 
ing, 83,98. 

King Philip's War Narratives, 19. 

Kingston, New York, 172. 

Kneeland, Samuel, 281. 

Kneeland & Green, 237. 

Knoxville Gazette, 57, 60. 

Koops, Matthias, Historical Account of 
Paper, cited, 144. 

Labor, 154—168; sources: (a) women 
of the family, 154—156; (b) immi- 
grant journeymen, 156; (c) inden- 
tured servants, 156; (d) apprentices, 
157; floating character, 159—160; 
scarcity, 158— 159 ; drunkenness, 160; 
unskilled, 159; organizations, 159, 
165—168; wages, 159—164; strikes, 
166; hours, 160—162; work accom- 
plished, 164. 

"Lamech and Agrippa," Chronicon 
Ephratense, 260. 

Lampblack, 115 — 116, 119— 121. 
Land, William G., cited, 204, 207. 
Law, Andrew, 249. 
Law for the establishment of the Militia 

of the Missisippi Territory, 55. 
Laws of Connecticut (1784), 185, 202. 
Laws of Maryland (1765), see Bacon, 

Laws of Maryland (1700), 227. 
Laws of South Carolina (1736), see 

Trott, Nicholas. 
Laws of the Missisippi Territory, 5 5 . 
Laws of the State of New York (1792), 

1 12— 1 13. 
Laws of the Territory . . . North-West 

of the Ohio, 58—59. 
Laws of Virginia, see A Collection of 

all the Acts of Virginia (1733). 
Leather for bookbinding, 195 — 197. 
Leeds, England, 13. 
Leffingwell, Christopher, 139 — 140. 
Legal handbooks, 241. 
Leigh, R. A. Austen, "William Strahan 

and his Ledgers," 185. 
Letter boards, 63. 
Lewis, Richard, 208, 259. 
Lexington, Kentucky, 15, 56, 59. 
Library Company of Philadelphia, 46, 

Lighting facilities, 169. 
Linen, see Flax culture. 
Linseed oil, see Flax culture; Oil mills; 

Varnish in printing ink. 
Literary aspect of the press, 215—217. 
Literary product, 258. 
Littlefield, George E., Early Boston 

Booksellers, 10. 
Liverpool, England, 13. 
London Land Company, 221. 
Lords of Trade, Report of, on Ameri- 
can manufactures, 138—139, 195 — 

Loudon, Samuel, 1 31-132. 
Louisiana, 54; first printing, 15, 50— 

51, 59-60; first newspaper, 51, 60. 
Loyalists in the Revolution, 52, 54. 
Luckombe, P., The History and Art of 

Printing, cited, 73, 75, 91. 
Ludlow, England, 42. 
Lynn, Massachusetts, 195. 

[ 359 ] 


Lyon, James, 239, 248; Urania, 248. 
Lyon, Matthew, 140. 

McAlpine, Robert, 210. 

McCall, John, 15, 58-59. 

McClench, Mr., 84-85. 

McCulloch, William, Additions to 
Isaiah Thomas's History of Printing, 
cited, 86, 104—105, 107—108, 112. 

McKean, Thomas, 107. 

McKerrow, Ronald B., Introduction to 
Bibliography, cited, 86. 

McMillan, Thomas, 222. 

McMurtrie, Douglas C, 44-45, 47, 

49-5o, 57- 

Madan, Falconer, cited, 7 1 . 

Maine, 55; first printing-, 27—29, 59- 
60; first newspaper, 27-28, 60; pa- 
per making, 139, 152. 

Magazines, see Periodicals. 

Manufactures in the Colonies, 137- 
139, 170, 195. 

Map engraving, 283—289. 

A Map of New-England, 18, 284. 

Mappa, Adam, 1 1 2—1 1 3. 

Markland, John, Typografhia, an Ode 
on Printing, 43, 259. 

Marschalk, Andrew, 15, 55, 59. 

Marshall, Humphrey, 149. 

Martin, William, type founder, 90. 

Maryland, 8-9, 11, 17, 42, 154, 169— 
170, 225—226, 228, 230, 253; first 
printing, 15, 39-42, 59-60; first 
newspaper, 41, 60; paper making, 
132-133, 152; Orphan Jury, 157; 
censorship, 177; charges for print- 
ing work, 178—179; leather manu- 
facture, 196-197; bookbinding, 193, 

The Maryland Gazette (est. 1727), 11, 
41, 60, 275 ; The Maryland Gazette 
(est. 1745), IJ > 82, 94, 133, 160, 
172, 190, 280. 

The Maryland Journal and the Balti- 
more Advertiser, 23, 42, 133, 160, 
275, 280. 

Massachusetts, 4—5, n, 16-20, 27, 29, 
92-95, 215, 230; first printing, 1 3- 
15, 59—60; first newspaper, 19, 60; 
press building, 84; type founding, 

102 — 103; ^ ax culture, 117; paper 
making, 137 — 139, 152; censorship, 
19, 23, 174—177; leather manufac- 
ture, 195; bookbinding, 192—193, 
195—198, 199, 201, 204, 206; The 
General Laws and Liberties of the 
Massachusetts Colony (Cambridge, 
1672), 204. 

Massachusetts Assembly, see Massachu- 
setts General Court. 

The Massachusetts Gazette and Boston 
Weekly News-Letter, 83, 102. 

Massachusetts General Court, 18, 23, 

J 37) r 75- 

The Massachusetts Magazine, 238. 

Materials of bookbinding, see Book- 

Mather, Cotton, 11, 139, 251—252; 
Magnalia, 20. 

Mather, Increase, 8, 251—252, 284; 
Wo to Drunkards, 94; A Call from 
Heaven, 204—205; Brief History of 
the Warr with the Indians, 256, 284; 
Blessed Hope, 284; Ichabod, 284. 

Mather, Richard, 251, 283. 

Mather, William Gwinn, Library, early 
bindings in, 204. 

Mather family, 251 — 252. 

Maule, Thomas, Truth held Forth, 
175 — 176, 190; New England Perse- 
cutors MauPd, 190. 

Maxwell, William, 15, 58—60. 

Maysville, Kentucky, 56. 

Mears, see Burkloe & Mears. 

Mein, John, 103; see also Mein & 

Mein & Fleeming, 102—103. 

Memoire, des Habitans et Negocians 
de la Louisianne, 50. 

Mennonite Martyr Book, see Der Blu- 
tige Schau-Platz. 

The Merchant's and Trader's Security, 
37-38, 243. 

Mesplet, Fleury, 241. 

Metcalf, Frank J., American Writers 
and Compilers of Sacred Music, 247— 

Mexico, Illustration of books in, 19; 
type founding, 96—98, 10 1. 

Michigan, first printing, 15, 58-59. 

[ 36° ] 


Miller, Peter, 275. 

Milton, Massachusetts, 137, 140. 

Missal e Romanum, 282. 

Mississippi, first printing, 15, 55, 59— 

60 j first newspaper, 55, 60. 
Mississippi Gazette, 55, 60. 
Mitchel, Jonathan, 175. 
Mitchelson, David, type founder, 102— 

Mob violence, 177. 
Mohawk Book of Common Prayer, see 

Book of Common Prayer, Mohawk. 
Moniteur de la Louisiane, 5 1, 60. 
The Monster of Monsters, 23. 
Monterey, California, 15. 
Montreal, Canada, 241. 
Moore, Samuel Preston, 222. 
Morse, Jedidiah, Geography, 288. 
Morton, Nathaniel, New-En glands 

Memoriall, 256. 
Mott, Frank Luther, History of Ameri- 
can Magazines, 239. 
A Mournful Poem on the Death of 

John Ormsby and Matthew Gushing, 

Moxon, Joseph, Mechanick Exercises, 

cited, 64, 70—82, 91, 1 1 8 — 120, 280. 
Music printing, 247—250. 

"Narragansett Declaration," see Decla- 
ration of certain former Passages, etc. 

Nassau, Bahama Islands, 52. 

Natchez, Mississippi, 55. 

National Typographical Association, 

National Typographical Union, 167. 

Neville, Henry, The Isle of Pines, 175. 

Newbern, North Carolina, 15, 48, 59. 

The Newcastle C our ant, 232. 

The New England Almanack for 1765 
(Providence, 1764), 140. 

The New England Company, see Cor- 
poration for Propagating the Gospel 
in New England. 

The New England Courant, 22. 

New-England's Spirit of Persecution 
transmitted to Pennsylvania, 32. 

New Hampshire, first printing, 15, 23— 
2 5> 59"~6o, 1765 first newspaper, 24- 
25, 60; paper making, 140, 152. 

The New Hampshire Gazette, 24—25, 

New Hampshire Grants Controversy, 
pamphlets, 26. 

New Haven, Connecticut, 21; press 
building, 83; type founding, 100— 
101, 106. 

New Jersey, 30, 285; first printing, 15, 
34—36, 59—60; first newspaper, 34, 
60; acts of assembly (1723 and 
1728), 34—36; paper making, 129— 
130; press building, 85; charges for 
printing work, 183. 

The New Jersey Gazette, 34, 60. 

The New Jersey Journal, 85. 

New London, Connecticut, 15, 21, 25, 

27> 59- 
New Mexico, first printing, 15. 
New Orleans, Louisiana, 15, 50—51, 

59> 2 4i- 

\_The New Tobacco Law of Virginia], 
42, 59. 

New York, colony, 26, 85, 131; first 
printing, 13, 15, 30-34, 59~6o; first 
newspaper, 33, 60 ; first Votes & Pro- 
ceedings, 33; type founding, 112— 
113; paper making, 129—132, 149, 
152; censorship, 177. 

New York City, 13, 15,23, 32—36, 59— 
60, 85, 121, 166, 176, 183, 187, 193, 
199, 202, 209—210, 238, 253, 285. 

The New York Gazette, 33, 60, 193, 

The New-York Magazine, 238. 

Newport, Rhode Island, 15, 22, 59, 

The Newport Mercury, 22. 

Newspapers, 230—236, 279—280; ad- 
vertising, 235—236; beginning, 19, 
60, 175; character, 230—231; cen- 
sorship, 19, 175, 177, 232; circula- 
tion, 122; statistics, 139, 232—233; 
general statements, 234—236. 

Newspapers, in Connecticut, 21, 60, 
230 ; Delaware, 38, 60; Florida, 52— 
53, 60; Georgia, 49, 60; Kentucky, 
57, 60, 233; Louisiana, 51, 60; 
Maine, 27—28, 60; Maryland, 41, 
60, 230; Massachusetts, 19, 60, in, 
175, 230; Mississippi, 55, 60; New 

[ 361 ] 


Hampshire, 24—25, 60; New Jersey, 
34, 60; New York, 33, 60; North 
Carolina, 48, 60; Ohio, 58, 60, 233 ; 
Pennsylvania, 31, 60, 230 ; Pitts- 
burgh, 56; Rhode Island, 22, 60, 
230; South Carolina, 47, 60; Ten- 
nessee, 57, 60; Vermont, 27, 60; 
Virginia, 43, 60. 

Nichols, Charles Lemuel, cited, 24. 

Non-Importation policy, 95. 

Norman, John, 289, 291; Town and 
Country Builder's Assistant, 290. 

Norman, William, American Pilot, 289. 

North Carolina, first printing, 15, 48, 
59— 60; first newspaper, 48, 60; press 
building, 84; paper making, 136. 

The North Carolina Gazette, 48, 60, 
136, 145. 

The North Carolina Magazine, 48. 

Norwich, Connecticut, 139—140. 

The Norwich Post, 232. 

Nuthead, Dinah, 15, 41, 154—155, 226. 

Nuthead, William, 15, 38—41, 42, 59, 

Nutter, Valentine, 201. 

Oakes, Urian, New England Pleaded 

'with, 94. 
The Oath of a Freeman, see Freeman's 

O'Callaghan, Edmund Bailey, A List 

of Editions of the Holy Scriptures, 

cited, 1 10. 
L'Ofice et auctoryte des Justices de 

Peas, 240. 
Office guides, 244. 
Oglethorpe, James, 48. 
Ohio, first printing, 15, 58-60; first 

newspaper, 58, 60. 
Ohio River, 56. 
Oil mills, 117. 

The Old Farmer's Almanac, 228. 
Old-fashioned press, 70—78. 
Olney, Christopher, 142. 
Olney, Jonathan, 139, 142. 
Organization of journeymen, 1 65 — 168. 
O'Reilly, Alexander, governor, 51. 
Oswald, Eleazer, 133. 
Ovid's Metamorphoses, 258. 

Pablos, Juan, 96. 

Paine, Thomas, 238. 

Paper, 122-153, 267-268; process of 
manufacture, 122—126, 134; laid, 
125; wove, 125; Dutch paper used, 
74; cost of, 128—129. 

Paper covers, 202—203. 

Paper making in the Colonies, 33, 122- 
153 ; in Pennsylvania, 33, 124, 126— 
129, 152 ; New York, 129— 1 32, 152 ; 
New Jersey, 129—130, 152; New 
England, 132, 136—139; Maryland, 
132-133, 152; Virginia, 133-1 35> 
152; North Carolina, 136, 152; 
South Carolina, 136, 152; Massa- 
chusetts, 137—139, 152; Maine, 1 39— 
140, 152; Connecticut, 139—140, 
152; Vermont, 152; Rhode Island, 
136-137, 140-142, 152; govern- 
ment encouragement of, 133, 136— 
137, 139—140; statistics, 140, 146, 
148, 151— 152; writings on, 150; 
cost of, 140— 141, 151; encourage- 
ment of, by printers, 144—150. 

Paper mills, see Paper making in the 

Paper money in New Jersey, 35—36; in 
Louisiana, 5 o ; in Massachusetts, 284 ; 
in Maryland, 290. 

Paraguay, type founding, 97. 

Parker, James, 15, 21, 34-3 5, 59-60, 
121, 158, 183. 

Parks, William, 15, 39, 41, 42-43, 45, 
59-60, 67-68, 94, 133— x 35> 147- 
148, 158, 160, 179—180, 188, 199, 
208-209, 235, 243-244, 256, 271, 

Parr, Willram, 219, 221—222. 

Parrington, Vernon L., The Colonial 
Mind, 7, 10. 

Parsons, Jonathan, Good News from a 
Far Country, 24. 

Partridge, Elizabeth, 1 1 1 . 

Passy Press of Benjamin Franklin, 225. 

Peele, Oswald, 221. 

Peirce, William, An Almanack for 
163Q (Cambridge, 1639), l6 - 

Penn, Thomas, 201. 

Penn, William, 30. 

[ 362 ] 


Pennsylvania, 5, 82, 122; first print- 
ing'. J 3> !5. 29-3 1 ) 33, 40-+1, 59- 
60, 226, 230, 253; first newspaper, 
31, 60; type founding-, 103-114; 
Quaker magistrates, 30—31; press 
building, 82, 84.-86; printing ink, 
115 — 117, 120— 121; flax culture, 
117; paper making, 30, 33, 124, 
129-133, 136, 149, 151-152; cen- 
sorship, 174; charges for printing 
work, 222, 225—226; German press 
in, 103—104. 

Pennsylvania Convention (1775), reso- 
lution regarding local type found- 
ing, 105. 

The Pennsylvania Gazette, 37, 149, 
193, 213, 217. 

Pennsylvania Germans, 262—263. 

Pennsylvania Hospital, 222. 

Pennsylvania Land Company, 220. 

The Pennsylvania Magazine, 238. 

Pennsylvania Mercury, see Story & 
Humphreys's Pennsylvania Mercury. 

Pennsylvania, Western, see Pittsburgh. 

Perceval, John, 1st Earl of Egmont, 

Periodical publication, 236—239; sta- 
tistics, 236, 238—239; character of, 

Persecution of printers, see Censorship 
of the Press. 

Perth Amboy, New Jersey, 35—36. 

Peters, William, 220. 

Philadelphia, 13, 15, 29-31, 33, 35, 
37-38, 40-41, 46, 59, 69, 97, 102, 
107 — 112, 122, 132, 149, 174, 181, 
233, 238, 254, 285; press building 
in, 69, 84—85, 187 ; wages, 163, 166; 
bookbinding, 193, 199, 211— 212; 
charges for printing work, 178— 181, 

Philadelphia Library Company, see Li- 
brary Company of Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia Typographical Society, 
163, 167. 

Phillips, Eleazer, Jr., 15, 43—47, 60, 

Phillips, Gillam, 137. 

Phillips, John, A Paraphrastical Expo- 
sition, etc., 32. 

Pickering, C, 117. 

Pierce, Richard, 19. 

Pietas et Gratulatio Collegii Canta- 
brigiensis, 94-95. 

Pitkin, George, 184. 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, first print- 
ing, 15, 55—56; first newspaper, 56. 

Pittsburgh Almanac for 1788, 56. 

Pittsburgh Gazette, 56. 

Plantin, Christopher, press of, 73. 

A Platform of Church Discipline, 252. 

Poems on Several Occasions, see "A 
Gentleman of Virginia." 

Poetry, 234, 246, 258—259. 

Political writings, 252—255. 

Poor Robin, Rhode Island Almanack, 
1728, 22, 230. 

Portland, Maine, 15, 27-29, 59, 139— 
140, 149. 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 15, 24, 


Potts, Stephen, 197, 201. 

Press restriction acts, 12—13, 3 1 , 87. 

Presswork, wages, 181. 

"Prices of Printing Work in Philadel- 
phia, 1754," 181. 

Prince, Thomas, Jr., editor, Book of 
Psalms (1758), 213; The Christian 
Herald, 237; Chronological History 
of New-England, 256. 

Printers, see Wages; Charges; Profits; 
Influence; Printing Trade in Colo- 
nies; Journeymen; Apprentices. 

Printing ink, 115— 121; process of ink 
making, 118 — 119 5 the industry, 
1 19—120. 

Printing press, 63, 69—86; kind used, 
69—78; Franklin's improvement of, 
78—79; effectiveness, 79—80; man- 
ner of operating, 79—82; specimens 
remaining, 75, 77; American manu- 
facture, 82—86; see also names of 
presses, Blaeu, Common Press, Old 
fashioned, Ramage, Stanhope, Iron. 

Printing shop, equipment, 61—68; de- 
tailed lists, 63, 65, 92 ; value, 65—68, 
90; effectiveness, 67—68. 

Printing trade in the Colonies, its spirit- 
ual and cultural interest, 3-4; ear- 
liest literature of, 43 ; general con- 

[ 363 ] 


ditions, 170; difficulties, poor light, 
bad weather, failure of supplies, cen- 
sorship by government and mob, 
170; labor troubles, 158 — 166; shop 
routine, 169 — 171; charges, 178 — 
186; profits, 186-187; influence of 
printers, 187— 191; printers as post- 
masters, 187, 194; as general mer- 
chants, 187—188; as newspaper edi- 
tors, 189—190; as political factors, 
1 89— 1 90 ; as bookbinders, 1 9 1— 1 94 ; 
product of the press, 215—295; sta- 
tistics of, 181; staple issues, 224- 
247; its esthetic quality, 267—268. 
A Proclamation for a Fast (New Lon- 
don, 1709), 21. 
Proclamation of laws, etc., 227. 
Product of the press, 215—295; sta- 
tistics, 2 1 6-2 1 8 ; character, 217; lit- 
erary character, 222—223; relation 
to lives of the people, 223—264 
blank forms, 181 — 182, 218—226 
government work, 190, 226—228 
almanacs, 216, 228—230; newspa- 
pers, 230—236; advertising, 235- 
236; periodicals, 236—239; sermons, 
239—240; legal handbooks, 240— 
242 ; compendiums, 242 ; ready reck- 
oners, 242—243; office guides, 243; 
school-books, 243 ; household com- 
pends, cook-books, etc., 244; chap- 
books, 245—247; ballads, 247—250; 
separate advertisements, 250—251; 
the German press, 239, 259—263; 
hymn books, German, 263; poetry, 
234, 246, 258—259; typographical 
characteristics, 265—295. 

Profits of printing trade, 186—187. 

[Proposals for the Picblicatio>i of a 
Weekly Gazette, Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire], 24, 59. 

Protestant Revolution in Maryland, 40. 

Providence, Rhode Island, 23, 136, 

The Providence Gazette, 142, 280. 

Publick Occurrences, both Forreign and 
Domestick, 19, 175, 232. 

Purdie, Alexander, 84. 

Pursell, Henry, 288-289. 

Rags in paper making, 143 — 150; de- 
vices to encourage collection of, 1 30— 
1 3 ! » • 3 3 — 1 34> n^, 140—148 ; poems 
and effusions, 145 — 148; rise of the 
rag merchant, 148 — 149; coopera- 
tion of printers, 148—149, 188. 

Ramage, Adam, press, 69-70, 73, 85— 

Ranger, Edmund, 192, 204—207, 209. 

Ratcliff, John, 192, 198, 200—201, 
204—207, 209. 

Rawlings, Daniel, 122. 

Read, Daniel, 249. 

Reading, England, 42. 

Reading, Thomas, 41, 226. 

Ready Reckoners, 242—243. 

Redick, John, A Detection of the Con- 
duct of Messrs. Annan and Hender- 
son, etc., 41. 

Reed, Talbot B., A History of the Old 
English Letter Foundries, cited, 87. 

Reeves, William, The Galley Slave, 55, 

Reinier, Joseph, see Reyners, Joseph. 
Religious forces, 4-5, 258. 
Remarks upon a Message . . . to the 

Lower House of Maryland, 1 82. 
Revere, Paul, 249, 290—291. 
Reyners, Joseph, 30. 
Rhea, John, 218. 
Rhode Island, first printing, 15, 22, 59— 

60, 155, 175; first newspaper, 22, 

60, 230; paper making, 136-137, 

140—142, 152. 
The Rhode Island Gazette, 22, 60, 1 39. 
Richardson, Lyon N., History of Early 

American Magazines, iy^i—ij8g, 

Rind, Clementina, 155. 
Rind, William, 62, 190. 
Ringold, Thomas, 182. 
Rittenhouse, William, 30, 124, 127 — 

129, 151. 
Rivington, James, 131, 177. 
Roberts, Hugh, 219. 
Rogers & Fowle, 1 15, 237, 256. 
Rogersville, Tennessee, 15, 57. 
Romans, Bernard, 131, 289. 
Ronaldson, James, see Binny & Ronald- 

[ 364 1 


Rosenbach, A. S. W., 199. 
Roulstone, George, 15, 57, 59—60. 
Rounce mechanism of presses, 70—77. 
Routine of colonial shops, 169 — 171, 

The Royal American Magazine, 238. 
Royal Gazette (South Carolina), 51. 
Royal orders concerning printing, see 

Censorship of the Press. 
Royle, Joseph, 160, 189—190. 
Rubrication, 280—283. 
Russell, J., see Green, J. and . . . 
Rutherfurd, Livingston, Jo/in Peter 

Zenger, his Press, his Trial, 176. 

St. Andrews, Scotland, 109. 

St. Andrew's Society, Philadelphia, 218, 

St. Augustine, Florida, 15, 52—55, 59. 
St. Mary's City, Maryland, 13, 15, 39- 


St. Omer, Jesuit College of, 9. 

St. Peter's Church, Philadelphia, 219. 

Salem, North Carolina, 136. 

Saltonstall, Gurdon, Governor of Con- 
necticut, 20. 

Salvage from bindings, 199—200. 

Samuel Saicrs Calender, 77. 

Sanders, John, 192, 207. 

Sandys, George, Ovid's Metamorphoses, 

Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1 5 . 

A Satyrical Description of Commence- 
ment, 247. 

Sauer, see Sower. 

Savannah, Georgia, 14-15, 49, 52, 59. 

Saybrook Platform, see A Confession of 
Faith, New London, 17 10. 

Scabord, or Scaleboard, see Boards, 

School-books, 244, 245. 

Scot, Robert, 294. 

Scotland, printing in, 74—75. 

The Scourge of Aristocracy, 239. 

Scribes, employment of, 227. 

Scull, John, 15, 56. 

Scull & Boyd, 56. 

Scull, Nicholas, 287. 

Seccombe, John, Father Abbey's Will, 

Seidensticker, Oswald, The First Cen- 
tury of German Printing in America, 

Selden, John, 265. 

Select Essays from the Dictionary of 
Arts and Sciences, 150. 

Sermons, 239—240. 

Sewall, Samuel, "Commonplace Book," 

Seymour, Joseph (sometimes Joseph 
H.), 291, 294. 

Sharpe, Horatio, Governor of Mary- 
land, 170. 

Shober, Gottlieb, 136. 

Shoemaker, Peter, 221. 

Short, Elizabeth, 200—201. 

Short, Thomas, 15, 21, 59, 66, 188, 

A Short-Title Catalogue of English 
Books, 1475— 1640, 240. 

Shiitz, Johan Conrad, 134. 

"Sign of the Table-Clock on the Bay," 


Simson, R., Mapp of the Rariton River, 

Size of books, see Format. 

Smith, Charlotte, Elegiac Sonnets, 126. 

Smith, Cornelia, 220. 

Smith, Samuel, 183; The History of the 
Colony of Nova-Caesaria or New- 
Jersey, 183. 

Smith, William, 238. 

Smither, James, and Smither, James, 
Jr., 294. 

Social forces, 5-6, 257—258. 

Societies, Printers', 159, 165—168. 

Some Letters and an Abstract of Letters 
from Pennsylvania, 117. 

South Carolina, 8, 48, 68, 121; first 
printing, 15, 43~47> 59 _6o > J 54 5 
first newspaper, 47, 60; press build- 
ing, 84; paper making, 136, 152. 

The South Carolina Gazette (1732), 

47> 6o - 
The South Carolina Weekly Journal 

(!732)>47> 6o - 
Southack, Cyprian, CJiart of the Eng- 
lish Plantations in North America, 


[ 365 ] 


Sower, Christopher, the Elder, 30, 41, 
132; press building, 82; type found- 
ing, 97 , ink making, 1 16-1 17, 1 20. 

Sower, Christopher, Jr., 30, 62, 95, 
103 — 105, 107, 116-117, 119, 120. 

Sower, Samuel, 77, 108. 

Sower family, 261. 

Sower German Bible (1743), 68, 1 32, 
211; (1763). 1355 (i776), 103- 
104, 107. 

Sowle, Andrew, 29. 

Sparrow, Thomas, 290. 

Spooner, Alden, 15, 25—27. 

Spooner, Judah Padock, 15, 27, 59-60. 

The Stamford Mercury, 232. 

Stamp Act, 49, 254. 

Stanhope Iron Press, 77. 

Star Chamber decree, 87. 

Statistics of the product of the press, 

Steiner, Melchior, 261. 

Steuart, Andrew, 48, 243. 

Stiles, Ezra, 98—99, 101, 105-106. 

Stith, William, History of Virginia, 
135, 256. 

Stokes, Benjamin M., 55, 60. 

Stone, Imposing, 63. 

Story, Enoch, see Story & Humphreys. 

Story & Humphreys, 105. 

Story & Humphrey's Pennsylvania 
Mercury, 84, 105-107. 

Stower, C.j The Printer's Grammar, 
cited, 75-77. 

Strahan, William, 62, 79, 102, 185. 

Stretch, Joseph, 220, 222. 

Sutton, Massachusetts, 140. 

Swan, Abraham, British Architect, 289— 
290, Collection of Designs in Archi- 
tecture, 289. 

Swift, John, 219—222. 

Swords, T. & J., 238. 

Taite, William, 220. 

Taxation of colonies, 142—143. 

Taylor, Randal, 40. 

Taylor, Samuel, 213. 

Tennent, John, Every Man his Own 
Doctor, or the Poor Planter's Phy- 
sician, 242, 244. 

Tennessee, first printing, 15, 57, 59- 
60 , first newspaper, 57, 60. 

Tennessee, paper making, 152. 

Thackara, James, 294. 

\_A Thanksgiving Proclamation] , Dres- 
den, New Hampshire, 26. 

[A Thanksgiving Proclamation] (West- 
minster, Vermont, 1780), 27, 59. 

Theosebes, Bereanus, see Hazlitt, Wil- 

This Bill bindeth me . . . County . . . 
Maryland, 39, 59. 

Thomas, Gabriel, Historical and Geo- 
graphical Account of Pensilvania, 

Thomas a. Kempis, Imitation of Christ, 


Thomas, Isaiah, 44, 62, 66, 78, 126, 
156, 158, 163-164, 188, 202, 238, 
291 , printing press, 77, charges for 
printing work, 1 80-1 8 1 , paper mak- 
ing, 126, 140; History of Printing, 
cited, 37,66, 77, 82, 86,91,94, 1 15— 
116, 118, 151, 155. 

Thread, Linen, see Linen manufacture. 

Thumb, Thomas, Monster of Monsters, 

Thurber, Samuel, 140, 142. 

Timothy, Anne, 154. 

Timothy, Elizabeth, 46— 47, 155. 

Timothy, Lewis, 15, 46-47, 68, 155, 

Timothy, Peter, 47, 84, 154. 

Timothy family, 188. 

Titcomb, Benjamin, 15, 27—29, 59-60. 

Todd, John, 221. 

Tompson, Benjamin, New Englands 
Crisis, 258. 

Tonyn, Patrick, governor, 54. 

Tools, Binders', 195. 

Townshend Act, 142. 

Trade cards, Binders', 2 1 2—2 1 3 . 

Treaty Held at the Town of Lancaster 
in 1744, 255. 

Trenchard, James, 294. 

Trenton, New Jersey, 34. 

Trott, Nicholas, Laws of South Caro- 
lina, 47, 68, 271, 275, 281. 

Tuft, John, Plain and Easy Introduc- 
tion to the Art of Singing, 248. 

[ 366 ] 


Turner, James, 287-289. 

Tyler, Moses Coit, Literary History of 
the American Revolution, 254. 

Type in colonial shops, 64-65, 83, 
268-272 ; sizes and varieties, 65, 90- 
95; modern equivalents, 92; cost 
and value of, 90, 93, 172; in English 
shops, 74. 

Type founding, 87-114; in England, 
87-88,90; in Scotland, 89,103,109; 
in English colonies, 83, 90, 98-1 14; 
affected by non-importation, 95; 
casting of sorts, 97-98; first speci- 
men, 98-99; second specimen, 99; 
specimen sheets, 112; first usable let- 
ter, 104-107; in Mexico, 96-98; in 
Paraguay, 97. 

The Typographical Society of New 
York, 167. 

Ulloa, Antonio de, governor, 51. 
Usher, Hezekiah, 10. 
Updike, Daniel Berkeley, 89. 

Vallance, John, 294. 

Vallette, Elie, The Deputy Commis- 
sary's Guide, 241, 290. 

Value of equipment, 65-67. 

Varnish in printing ink, 1 1 6-1 2 1 . 

Vellum, see Leather for bookbinding. 

Vermont, 54, 239; first printing, 15, 
25-27, 59-60; first newspaper, 27, 
60; paper making, 140, 152; cen- 
sorship, 177. 

The Vermont Gazette, 27, 60. 

Vicksburg, Mississippi, 55. 

Virginia, 5, 8-9, 11, 17, 56, 239; first 
printing, 15, 3 8— 3 9> 4 2- 43> 59 -6 °> 
226-228, 253; first newspaper, 43, 
60; paper making, 43, i3 3 _I 35> 
152; flax culture, 117, 196; cen- 
sorship, 173; leather manufacture, 
195; bookbinding, 193, 207-209. 

The Virginia Gazette (est. 1736), ii, 
43, 6o, 134, 147, 160, 235. 

Vogt, Henry, 84. 

The Voluntiers March, 246. 
The Votes and Proceedings of the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Ne<w Jersey, April 
17, i754~J une 2I > z 754> 34> 59- 

The Votes & Proceedings of the New 
York Assembly (1764), 210. 

Votes & Proceedings, see Assemblies, 

Wade, Francis, 220. 
Wages, Printers', 159—164, 166—168, 
179, 181, 185-186; compared to 
other workers, 163—164, 181 — 182. 
The Wages of Sin . . . A Poem Occa- 
sioned by the untimely Death of 
Richard Wilson, 246. 
Wait, Thomas B., 15, 27-29, 59-60. 
Waldo, Samuel, 139, 149. 
Walnut Hills, see Fort Hill, Missis- 
Walsey, John, 222. 
Walter, Thomas, Grounds and Rules of 

Musick Explained, 248. 
Warner, John, 230. 
Waterman, John, 142. 
Watson, Ebenezer, 140. 
Watson, James, The History of the Art 

of Printing, cited, 74-75, 1 6 1 . 
Watts, John, 75. 
Weather, 172-1 73. 
Weatherwise, Abraham, Almanack for 

1787 (Portland), 28, 230. 
Webb, George, 15, 43~47> 59- 
Webb, George, 156; The Office and 

Authority of a Justice of Peace, 45, 

Webb, Thomas S., 214. 
Webbe, John, 237. 
Webster, Noah, 238. 
Wells, John, 15, 51-55? 59 -6 °- 
Wells, William Charles, 52. 
West, Benjamin, 230. 
Westbrook, Thomas, 139. 
Westminster, Vermont, 15, 27, 59. 
Westward Expansion, 55-58. 
Weyman, William, 97, 171, 219. 
Whig Club, Baltimore, 177. 
Whitemarsh, Thomas, 15, 43~47> 60, 

The Whole Booke of Psalmes, 17, 94> 

192, 197, 204, 206-207, 247, 251, 

257, 294. 
Wigglesworth, Michael, The Day of 

Doom, 258. 

[ 367 ] 


Wilkinson, Anthony, 220. 

Willard, Samuel, Comfleat Body of 
Divinity, 281. 

Willcox, Thomas, 129, 148. 

William and Mary College, 9. 

Williams, Roger, The BLoudy Tenent 
of Persecution, 7, 20; George Fox 
Digg'd out of his Burrotves, 20. 

Williamsburg, Virginia, 9, 15, 39, 42- 
43, 45-46, 59> 67, 84, i33-i35> 
i47> i55» M8, i9°> !93> 208, 253. 

Willing & Todd, 221. 

Willis, John, 84. 

Wilmington, Delaware, 15, 37-38, 59, 

Wilmington, North Carolina, 48. 

The Wilmington [Delaware^ Alma- 
nack for 1762, see Fox, Thomas. 

[The Wilmington {Delaware) Cour- 
ant], 37. 

Wilson, Alexander, type founder, 89- 
90, 109. 

Wilson, John, A Copy of Verses . . . on 
the sudden death of Mr. Joseph Bris- 
co, 246. 

Women in printing, 16, 22—23, J 54~ 

1565 in bookbinding, 191 — 192, 200— 

Woodbridge, New Jersey, 1 5,34,59,1 83. 
The Worcester Post-Man, 232. 
Work Book of Franklin & Hall, 178, 

182, 216—218, 222. 
The World Almanac, 228. 
Wright, Charles, 15, 53, 59-60. 
Wright, Sir James, 53. 
Wright, Jermyn, 53. 
Wright, Thomas Goddard, Literary 

Culture in Early New England, 1 o. 

Xavier de Ocampo, Francisco, 97- 

98, 101. 

The Young Clerk's Vade Mecum, 244. 
The Young Man's Companion, 244. 
The Young Secretary's Guide, 244. 

Zamorano, Agustin Vicente, 15. 
Zenger, John Peter, 41, 157, 176, 202, 


Zionitischen Stiff ts, 262. 

[ 368 ] 

This edition of fifteen hundred copies, printed on 
rag paper at The Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 
Portland, Maine, was completed in May, ipj8 


Jj-sti- V^-> 




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